A reader named Max asked me to write about "tie over" and "tide over."
"Tide over" is the correct expression, at least in normal circumstances. Examples:
- We have enough letterhead to tide us over until our office moves.
- This food should tide me over until the weather clears and I can go shopping.
- This snack will tide him over until dinnertime.
Definitions of "tide over":
- "To support or enable to survive temporarily,"
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
- "To support through a difficult period," The American Heritage College Dictionary
- "Enable or help (a person) to get through esp. a difficult period," Canadian Oxford Dictionary
The expression "tie over" does not appear in any of my dictionaries. I am guessing that if my boat were approaching a dock, I could say, "Tie me over there."
Max, I hope this explanation will tide you over until you can consult a dictionary or discuss it with your coworkers.
Please excuse my weak use of "tide over" in the sentence above. Max's message to me did not suggest concerns about his survival, so "tide over" does not fit perfectly. I just felt like using it.
Please share any phrases like "tie over" that you are seeing confused with correct ones.