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misleading instructions or guidance; a misleading suggestion. (Bum = false; phony. Steer = guidance, as in the steering of a car. *Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) Wilbur gave Ted a bum steer and Ted ended up in the wrong town. I got a bum steer from the salesman, and I paid far more than I needed to for a used car.
kick like a muleand kick like a steer
to kick very hard. They say that ostriches will kick like a mule if you bother them. Stay away from the back end of Tom's horse. It will kick like a steer when a stranger comes up.
steer away from someone or something
to move or turn away from someone or something. You had better steer away from Jeff. He is in a terrible mood. Try to steer away from the potholes. The road is full of them.
steer clear (of someone or something)
to avoid someone or something. John is mad at me, so I've been steering clear of him. Steer clear of that book. It has many errors in it.
steer into something
to turn or drive into something. Try to steer into the right parking space this time. Poor Wally steered into the curb.
steer someone or something through something
to guide someone or something through something that is confusing or treacherous. I tried to steer Judy through the registration procedure, but I really didn't know what I was doing. should I try to steer my car through all this foot traffic or take a different route?
steer something for something
to aim oneself or one's vehicle toward something. Jeff steered the car for the entrance to the tunnel and stepped on the gas. The driver steered the bus for the center lane just in time.
steer something toward someone or something
to guide something in the direction of someone or something. The farmer steered the tractor toward the sheriff, who had come to talk to the farmer. Please steer the car toward the right side.
steer through something
to maneuver through something that is confusing or treacherous. Do you think you can steer through this flooded tunnel? I can't steer through this mess of leaves and mud on the road.
steer toward someone or something
to turn or drive toward someone or something. He steered toward the empty parking space, but someone got there before he did. steer toward the house with the red door.
steer clear (of somebody/something)
to avoid someone or something I'd steer clear of Joe if I were you - he's in a terrible mood. They invited me to comment on the proposals, but I think I would rather steer clear.
Usage notes: usually the person or thing you avoid is dangerous or likely to cause trouble
a bum steer(American & Australian informal)
information that is not correct or not helpful The bus driver gave us a bum steer and we ended up miles from where we wanted to go. Her suggestion to eat at that little Italian restaurant was a bum steer. (= a bad suggestion)
steer clear of something/somebody
to avoid something or someone because they are dangerous or bad for you I'd steer clear of Joe if I were you - he'll only cause trouble. I try to steer clear of heavy meals these days.
False or misleading information; poor advice. For example, Gene felt his doctor had given him a bum steer, as he hadn't lost any weight on the diet . [Slang; c. 1920]
steer clear of
Stay away from, avoid, as in Dad warned us to steer clear of Dr. Smith and his poor advice. This idiom alludes to guiding a vessel away from some obstacle. Its figurative use was first recorded in 1723.
bum steer(ˈbəm ˈstir)
n. a false lead; false information. You sure gave me a bum steer when you told me who he was.
steer clear of
To stay away from; avoid.
Misleading advice. This phrase has nothing to do with a tough piece of steak. “Bum” signifies “wrong” and “steer” means “direction” in the sense of steering a vehicle. So if someone has given you a bum steer, you have in a sense grounds for a beef.