be beside (oneself)(redirected from be beside themselves)
be beside (oneself)
To be very emotional, especially shocked or distraught. I was beside myself when I found out I'd been rejected from my first-choice school. Honestly, we've all been beside ourselves since the funeral.
See also: beside
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
beside oneself, to be
To be distraught with worry, grief, anger, happiness, or some other strong emotion. The expression appears in the King James Version of the Bible (Acts 26:24): “Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning makes thee mad.” It uses the adverb beside in an older sense, meaning “outside of,” so literally the phrase means “outside of oneself,” the self in question being one’s mental faculties.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer