be beyond the pale

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be beyond the pale

To be 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.
See also: beyond, pale
References in periodicals archive ?
The rude, insulting use of Nazi gestures, blow-up Spitfires, and the parodies of the Second World War songs are beyond the pale.
In a poststructuralist context, then, the evolutionary critics - what with their references to "biological modes of thought," "primate evidence," and "scientific rationality" - are not simply slightly out of step: They are beyond the pale, beholden as they are to spuriously "objective" facts, "transparent" truths, and "transcendent" positions.
When the White House bellyaches about Rush's talk-radio forum as mindless, or jokes that he is a racist, the Clintonites signal the marketplace that they, too, are among the enlightened few who know that middle-class attitudes are beyond the pale of decency.