beyond the pale


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beyond the pale

Completely unacceptable or inappropriate. A "pale" is an area bounded by a fence. Disrupting my class is beyond the pale, young lady—go to the principal's office! Most people would consider stealing to be beyond the pale.
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beyond the pale

Fig. unacceptable; outlawed. (A. pale is a barrier made of wooden stakes.) Your behavior is simply beyond the pale. Because of Tom's rudeness, he's considered beyond the pale and is never asked to parties anymore.
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beyond the pale

Outside the bounds of morality, good behavior or judgment; unacceptable. For example, She thought taking the boys to a topless show was beyond the pale. The noun pale, from the Latin palum, meant "a stake for fences" or "a fence made from such stakes." By extension it came to be used for an area confined by a fence and for any boundary, limit, or restriction, both of these meanings dating from the late 1300s. The pale referred to in the idiom is usually taken to mean the English Pale, the part of Ireland under English rule, and therefore, as perceived by its rulers, within the bounds of civilization.
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beyond the pale

COMMON If a person or their behaviour is beyond the pale, they are completely unacceptable. Any kind of physical aggression from your partner is beyond the pale. In those days divorced women were considered beyond the pale. Note: `Pale' comes from the Latin `palum', meaning `stake', and in English it came to refer to a territorial boundary marked by a line of stakes. The area inside was regarded as civilized, but the area beyond the pale was seen as barbaric.
See also: beyond, pale

beyond the pale

outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour.
A pale (from Latin palus meaning ‘a stake’) is a pointed wooden post used with others to form a fence; from this it came to refer to any fenced enclosure. So, in literal use, beyond the pale meant the area beyond a fence. The term Pale was applied to various territories under English control and especially to the area of Ireland under English jurisdiction before the 16th century. The earliest reference ( 1547 ) to the Pale in Ireland as such draws the contrast between the English Pale and the ‘wyld Irysh’: the area beyond the pale would have been regarded as dangerous and uncivilized by the English.
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beˌyond the ˈpale

considered socially unacceptable: Her behaviour towards her employees is completely beyond the pale. She treats them like servants.A pale was a boundary made of wooden posts or the safe area inside this. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the part of Ireland that was under English rule was called the Pale. The area outside this was beyond the Pale and considered wild and dangerous by the English.
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beyond the pale

Irrevocably unacceptable or unreasonable: behavior that was quite beyond the pale.
See also: beyond, pale

beyond the pale

A pale, originally a stockade made of pales of wood, was an area under the authority of a certain official. In the 14th and 15th centuries the British ruled Dublin, the surrounding area was outside the law. Anyone or anything beyond the pale was considered savage and dangerous, and the express came to mean anything unacceptable or beyond the limits of accepted morality or conduct.
See also: beyond, pale
References in periodicals archive ?
Making explicit the discursive assumptions that situate African Americans beyond the pale of white society, and behind a Veil where they are invisible to white eyes blinded by racist stereotypes (Du Bois, Souls 3-4, 8), these portraits-as-mugshots make explicit the "shadow meanings" of white-supremacist images of African Americans.
ON DISPLAY: Honley artist Jeff Beaumont pictured at the preview of his exhibition, at Holmfirth Civic Hall, 'Far Beyond the Pale Horizon'
Fifteen years later, Wojnarowicz's faith in photography as an inherently subversive medium, perpetually beyond the pale of the culture industry, is a ghost of history--just one of the many ghosts that populate these photographs.
Beyond The Pale looks on an attractive mark in the Vodafone Handicap Hurdle (2.
The Sun remains beyond the pale for those of us who remember the paper's flagrant refusal to see beyond the need to cause maximum distress.
Therefore, moving it down to Eastside, which has never been part of Central Birmingham must be 'completely beyond the pale.
Nathanael knew nothing of Jesus and wrote him off because he came from a place that was dearly beyond the pale.
The paper has encouraged "gays" and lesbians in their lobbying efforts for a decade or longer, but now it declared that "the Vatican "s insistence that politicians put their religion first in determining public policy on the question is beyond the pale.
THE folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have long been famous for their shocking and provocative campaigns, but their latest - comparing Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust to slaughtering livestock - goes beyond the pale.
Plus, Em's matricidal ramblings are beyond the pale even for hip hop; gangsta rappers, like their celluloid counterparts, will consistently take hiatus from issuing colorful death threats to pay homage to dear old mom.
Obviously, some things are beyond the pale of acceptable workplace culture; physical assaults, such as testicle grabbing, would fit that category.
Last week the terrorists put themselves beyond the pale.
Given the samurai's severe book of conduct, it is delicious to contemplate that same-sex intercourse was so beyond the pale in the realm of taboos that no one bothered to write it in.
The magistrate described Feral's and FoA's lawyers conduct as "so far beyond the pale that it is not even arguably defensible.
In March 2000, CMI purchased Beyond The Pale Distribution (BTP Distribution), a wholesale distribution company that distributes books to Tower Books & Records, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon.