beg


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

a good voice to beg bacon

Used to mock someone's voice as being strange, unpleasant, or inadequate (e.g., for singing). Bacon, being a dietary staple in older times, was often used as a metaphor for financial stability or wealth; having the voice of one who must "beg bacon," then, means having a harsh voice, like someone who is undernourished. Did you hear the way that singer was screeching last night? I'm glad we didn't stay too long, he had a good voice to beg bacon.
See also: bacon, beg, good, voice

beg on bended knee

To beg or plead for something submissively and with dramatic earnestness. Refers to kneeling before someone from whom one must beg for mercy or favor. After five years, I'm ready to beg on bended knee for a promotion. We have to remain strong in the eyes of the world. We cannot beg on bended knee for help from our allies.
See also: beg, bended, knee, on

beg, borrow, or steal

To acquire or accomplish something by any means necessary or available. I don't care if you have to beg, borrow, or steal to get it, I want that car and I want it now! I'm in such a jam, I can't even beg, borrow, or steal the money I need to pay my rent this month.
See also: steal

go a-begging

To become or remain unused, unclaimed, unfilled, or unwanted, especially a job or product. You'd think in this economy that we could fill the IT Director position immediately, but the job has gone a-begging After the price of corn plummeted, half our supply has just been going a-begging in the storage silo.

I beg your pardon

1. I apologize for what I just did or said. Oh, I beg your pardon. I wasn't looking where I was going.
2. What did you just say? Could you please repeat that? I beg your pardon, I couldn't quite hear you.
3. An expression or exclamation of indignation or incredulous disbelief. A: "I'm afraid we're going to have to cut your funding, effective immediately." B: "I beg your pardon? Who on earth decided that?"
4. Could you please give me your attention. I beg your pardon, everyone, but I'd like to get tonight's proceedings underway.
5. I believe you are mistaken or incorrect; I beg to differ; I don't agree with you on that. I beg your pardon, but I believe you'll find that our school is actually one of the best in the state.
See also: beg, pardon

beg for someone or something

to plead to be given someone or something. He missed Jane a lot and was just begging for her to return to him. Jane begged for another helping of ice cream.
See also: beg

beg of someone

to request earnestly of someone. (Usually added to a request.) Please help me. I beg of you. I beg of you to help me.
See also: beg, of

beg off (on something)

to ask to be released from something; to refuse an invitation. I'm sorry, but I'll be out of town on the day of your party. I'll have to beg off on your invitation. I have an important meeting, so I'll have to beg off.
See also: beg, off

beg something from someone

to plead for something from someone. She begged the amount of a telephone call from someone who walked by. I begged a dollar from a kind lady who went by.
See also: beg

beg something of someone

to request earnestly that someone do something or grant something. Please help me. I beg it of you. She begged a favor of Max.
See also: beg, of

beg something off

to decline an invitation politely. She begged the trip to the zoo off. We all begged off the dinner invitation.
See also: beg, off

beg the question

 
1. to carry on a false argument where one assumes as proved the very point that is being argued, or more loosely, to evade the issue at hand. (Essentially a criticism of someone's line of argument.) Stop arguing in circles. You're begging the question. A: Why do two lines that are equidistant from one another never meet? B: Because they are parallel. A: You are begging the question.
2. to invite the (following) question. (This reinterpretation of beg the question is incorrect but is currently in widespread use.) His complaints beg the question: Didn't he cause all of his problems himself?
See also: beg, question

beg to differ (with someone)

Fig. to disagree with someone; to state one's disagreement with someone in a polite way. (Usually used in a statement made to the person being disagreed with.) I beg to differ with you, but you have stated everything exactly backwards. If I may beg to differ, you have not expressed my position as well as you seem to think.
See also: beg, differ

Excuse me.

 and Excuse, please.; Pardon (me).; 'Scusc (me).; 'Scusc, please. 
1. an expression asking forgiveness for some minor social violation, such as belching or bumping into someone. ('Scuse is colloquial, and the apostrophe is not always used.) John: Ouch! Bob: Excuse me. I didn't see you there. Mary: Oh! Ow! Sue: Pardon me. I didn't mean to bump into you. Tom: Ouch! Mary: Oh, dear! What happened? Tom: You stepped on my toe. Mary: Excuse me. I'm sorry.
2. Please let me through.; Please let me by. Tom: Excuse me. I need to get past. Bob: Oh, sorry. I didn't know I was in the way. Mary: Pardon me. Sue: What? Mary: Pardon me. I want to get past you.
See also: excuse

go begging

Fig. to be left over, unwanted, or unused. (As if a thing were begging for an owner or a user.) There is still food left. A whole lobster is going begging. Please eat some more, There are many excellent books in the library just going begging because people don't know they are there.
See also: beg

(I) beg your pardon, but...

 and Begging your pardon, but...
Please excuse me, but. (A very polite and formal way of interrupting, bringing something to someone's attention, or asking a question of a stranger.) Rachel: Beg your pardon, but I think your right front tire is a little low. Henry: Well, I guess it is. Thank you. John: Begging your pardon, ma'am, but weren't we on the same cruise ship in Alaska last July? Rachel: Couldn't have been me.
See also: beg, but

I'll have to beg off.

Fig. a polite expression used to turn down an informal invitation. Andrew: Thank you for inviting me, but I'll have to beg off. I have a conflict. Henry: I'm sorry to hear that. Maybe some other time. Bill: Do you think you can come to the party? Bob: I'll have to beg off. I have another engagement. Bill: Maybe some other time.
See also: beg, have, off

beg off

to excuse yourself from something I had the chance to spend the day at the beach, but I begged off, saying I had too much work on my desk.
See also: beg, off

beg to differ (with somebody)

(slightly formal) also beg to disagree (with somebody)
to have a different opinion Some people think losing that game brought the team together, but I beg to differ - the team has always been together. Many believe our planet is in danger, but I beg to disagree - it's not our planet but human existence that's in danger.
See also: beg, differ

go begging

to be available Good jobs still go begging in the health care and teaching fields.
See also: beg

excuse me

(spoken)
1. I am sorry to interrupt you Oh, excuse me, I didn't know you were busy.
2. that was not what I intended to say or do As a kid growing up, my family grew strawberries, excuse me, grew tomatoes.
3. I did not hear you Which office do you work in? Excuse me?
Related vocabulary: pardon me
See also: excuse

beg the question

1. to cause a particular question to be asked Cyber adventurers can even climb a mountain, which begs the question of how can someone at a keyboard take a hike?
2. to fail to answer a particular question Everyone agrees we have to cut spending, but this proposal begs the question, What do we cut?
See also: beg, question

beg the question

 
1. if a statement or situation begs the question, it causes you to ask a particular question It's all very well talking about extra staff but it rather begs the question of how we're going to pay for them.
2. (formal) if something that someone says begs the question, it suggests that something is true which might in fact be false We're assuming, are we, that Anthony will still be in charge this time next year? That rather begs the question, doesn't it?
See also: beg, question

I beg to differ/disagree

  (formal)
a polite way of saying that you disagree with something that someone has said I beg to differ with Mr Stahl's final assertion.
See also: beg, differ

be going begging

if something is going begging, it is available to be taken because no one else wants it There's a big box of apples going begging.
See also: beg, going

beg, borrow, or steal

Obtain by any possible means, as in You couldn't beg, borrow, or steal tickets to the Olympics. This term is often used in the negative, to describe something that cannot be obtained; Chaucer used it in The Tale of the Man of Law. [Late 1300s]
See also: steal

beg off

Ask to be released from an obligation; turn down an invitation. For example, He's asked me out to dinner three times already, but I have to beg off again, or Mother couldn't take on another committee and so she begged off. [Early 1700s]
See also: beg, off

beg the question

Take for granted or assume the truth of the very thing being questioned. For example, Shopping now for a dress to wear to the ceremony is really begging the question-she hasn't been invited yet . This phrase, whose roots are in Aristotle's writings on logic, came into English in the late 1500s. In the 1990s, however, people sometimes used the phrase as a synonym of "ask the question" (as in The article begs the question: "What are we afraid of?").
See also: beg, question

beg to differ

Disagree with someone, as in John told me Max was sure to win, but I beg to differ-I don't think he has a chance. This courteous formula for expressing disagreement echoes similar uses of beg in the sense of "ask," such as I beg your pardon, so used since about 1600. Also see excuse me.
See also: beg, differ

excuse me

1. Also, I beg your pardon, pardon me. Forgive me, as in Excuse me, please let me pass, or Pardon me for asking, or I beg your pardon, I don't think so. These phrases are used as an apology for interrupting a conversation, bumping into someone, asking a speaker to repeat something, politely disagreeing with something said, and so on. The first dates from about 1600, the first variant from about 1800, the second from the mid-1700s.
2. Also, excuse oneself. Allow or ask to leave or be released from an obligation. For example, Please excuse me, I have to leave now, or I asked the judge to excuse me from jury duty. [1920s]
See also: excuse

go begging

Be in little or no demand, as in At this time of year barrels of apples go begging. [Late 1500s]
See also: beg

I beg your pardon

see under beg to differ.
See also: beg, pardon

beg off

v.
To excuse oneself from something, such as an obligation: We were invited to stay for dinner, but we had to beg off.
See also: beg, off

beg (someone's) pardon

Used to introduce a polite request.
See also: beg, pardon

beg the question

1. To assume to be true what one is purporting to prove in an argument.
2. To call to mind a question in a discussion; invite or provoke a question.
See also: beg, question

beg to differ

To disagree in a polite manner.
See also: beg, differ

Excuse me

1. Used to acknowledge and ask forgiveness for an action that could cause offense.
2. Used to request that a statement be repeated.
See also: excuse

beg the question

To assume the question in your answer. For example, if the question is “Should marijuana use be criminalized?” to reply “Yes, because if it isn't, then lots of criminals will be roaming the streets” is to beg the question. That is, the answer assumes that pot users are criminals when that's the precise question under debate. Although the phrase is now widely heard as a synonym for raising or asking a question, its original meaning is still used by the dwindling band of educated speakers.
See also: beg, question
References in periodicals archive ?
The counsel of Mirza Aslam Beg further told the apex court that he would assist his client (Mirza Aslam Beg) if need was felt.
At the level of those who beg the interaction develops in two directions: within groups, referring to the interaction between beggars, within their group, and interaction with people outside their group.
Beg's scheme was eventually uncovered, and in 2002 Beg was prosecuted.
Apart from the island, the new owner also gets the main Inisturk Beg home, a spectacular two-storey house with six bedrooms, indoor pool and tennis court, as well as five other island properties.
ABERDEEN ROBERT Hargreaves, 67, has been forced on to the streets to beg, despite having a home.
Shujaat revealed that General Beg had invited him and his cousin Pervaiz Elahi at a tea party and asked them to support the people who had the backing of army, the Daily Times reports.
But that is exactly what Khurshed Alam and his wife, Sunzida Beg, are doing.
Another said: "So if she continues to beg she may get a five-year jail sentence or the amazing alternative of a fine.
Syd Beg was jailed for eight years after being caught with 21,500 vile images - including photos of a four-yearold girl who had been left in his care.
After the summer, we e-mailed and kept in touch, but we always argued and then I would be the one to beg him to come back.
Begging generates a handsome income in lots of ways; at times female beggars rent babies so they could beg with them on streets to draw sympathy and pity, and end up making anything between JD20 and JD100 a day.
Shahida Beg, aged 39, of Sewall Highway, Wyken, Coventry, was given a six-month suspended jail term by Coventry Crown Court, after pleading guilty to the offences.
It is damaging and humiliating to those who beg, trapping them in a cycle of poverty.
Every Ramadan, the elderly Hajj Saleh heads to the capital Sana'a to beg.