beg

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Related to begged: cadge, Beggars can't be choosers

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

go begging

To be available for one to take or claim. If that cake is going begging, I'll take a few pieces home with me. We can't let these antiques from Aunt Judy go begging—here, take a vintage lamp.
See also: beg

beg for (someone/something)

To plead or ask earnestly for something or someone. Our kids have been begging for a dog for years, and we're finally getting them one. I tried to calm my little cousin down and distract her, but she still begged for her mama all night.
See also: beg

beg (something) from (someone)

To plead or ask someone earnestly for something. I forgot my wallet at home today, so I had to beg some money from my friends for lunch.
See also: beg

beg of

To plead with someone for something. This phrase often suggests a certain intensity or desperation from the speaker. A noun can be used between "beg" and "of." Oh, please come with me tonight, I beg of you. I can't possibly go alone. Can I beg a few dollars of you? I forgot my wallet at home today.
See also: beg, of

beg off

To ask to be excused from an obligation or invitation. A noun can be used between "beg" and "off." She had to beg off that project when she realized that it interfered with her normal duties. I begged the dinner party off last night because I was feeling ill.
See also: beg, off

beg the question

1. To provoke a specific question (which typically follows this phrase). If he has a great job but is always broke, it begs the question of where the money is going?
2. To assume or believe that something is true when its veracity is unverified. My opponent in this debate has again begged the question, assuming his premise to be true without evidence.
See also: beg, question

beg to differ

To politely disagree with someone else. I'm sorry, headmaster, but I beg to differ. Students at this school should have more access to financial aid and scholarships, not less. He thinks that the evening was a disaster, but I beg to differ—I saw plenty of guests enjoying themselves!
See also: beg, differ

be going begging

To be available for one to take or claim. If that cake is going begging, I'll take a few pieces home with me.
See also: beg, going

excuse me

1. A phrase said when one is trying to pass through a crowded area. This phrase is sometimes verbally shortened to 'scuse me. Excuse me, excuse me everyone, I have to get through with this cart.
2. An expression of politeness that precedes a possible disagreement or an upsetting question. Excuse me, sir, but didn't you specifically tell us to make that change last month?
3. An indignant response, often posed as a question. Excuse me? How can you say something that hurtful to me, your own mother? Well, excuse me for actually caring about your future, unlike you!
4. A polite phrase used after one has done something that does not adhere to proper etiquette. Oh, excuse me—I didn't mean bump into you, ma'am. Petey, say "excuse me" after you burp!
5. A request for one to repeat what they have said. Excuse me? I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.
6. A phrase used when one is correcting a verbal mistake. We had 200, excuse me, 210 people at the event.
7. An apologetic phrase that precedes an interruption. Excuse me, sir, but your wife is calling on line two—she says it's urgent.
8. An apologetic phrase that precedes a departure. Excuse me, I have to leave early for a doctor's appointment. I'll see you all tomorrow.
See also: excuse

I beg to disagree

I politely disagree. I'm sorry, headmaster, but I beg to disagree. Students at this school should have more access to financial aid and scholarships, not less. He thinks that the evening was a disaster, but I beg to disagree—I saw plenty of guests enjoying themselves!
See also: beg, disagree

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, 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

go begging

If something goes begging, it is available to be used or bought, but nobody seems to want it. Nearly half a million holidays for the busiest six weeks of the year are still going begging. Paintings by pop artist Andy Warhol went begging for the second night in a row last night at the auction house.
See also: beg

beg the question

COMMON
1. If something begs the question, it makes people want to ask that question. Hopewell's success begs the question, why aren't more companies doing the same? When pushed to explain, words — for once — failed the England manager, begging the obvious question: Does he really know?
2. If someone's statement begs the question, they can only make that statement if a particular thing is true, although it may not be. His position on global warming is begging the question that humans are responsible. Note: This is a rough translation of the Latin expression `petitio principii', a technical term used in logic to describe a situation in which the truth of something is assumed before it has been proved.
See also: beg, question

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 ?
And what about the former Taoiseach who begged for cash from rich businessmen while he lived in luxury in a Georgian mansion?
A Cantonese published an article in 1920 in the journal of a Cantonese native place association in Shanghai, attacking his fellow provincials who begged on Shanghai's streets in order to earn a "living without working.
For instance, the Cantonese mendicants begged mainly in North Sichuan Road and Wuchang Road in Hongkou (which had the largest Cantonese community in Shanghai), and the Cantonese were a relatively rich group in the city.
In a similar case also in Saudi Arabia, a man begged for five months as a woman before his disguise was uncovered.
The woman known as MR, boldly stood in front of the general industrial area police station and begged for money.
The court heard Hunter, who used the cash to feed his drug and alcohol addictions, told police he begged up to seven days a week in Yeovil, Somerset.
In a similar case in the Saudi kingdom, a man begged for five months as a woman before his disguise was uncovered.
claimed that he begged in a souq but did not know its name or address.
I used the money that I begged to buy food and beverages.
A WOMAN who begged to get money to buy medicine for her sick child was fined EUR10 yesterday.
At the busy Newland's Cross on the Naas Road in west Dublin, another Romanian woman begged from motorists at the traffic lights.
Barbu begged on the Underground with her young child after travelling up to London from Dover, the court heard.