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a bum steer
Poor, inaccurate, or misleading information or advice. My advisor really gave me a bum steer when she pushed me to take this class that I'm currently failing. I did my own research to confirm that my doctor wasn't giving me a bum steer when she suggested this procedure.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
bum steera piece of false information or guidance. informal, chiefly North American
In this context, bum means ‘bad, worthless’, and steer ‘advice’ or ‘guidance’ (it has no connection with young bulls).
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
bum steer(ˈbəm ˈstir)
n. a false lead; false information. You sure gave me a bum steer when you told me who he was.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Bad advice. This slangy term uses bum in the sense of incorrect or erroneous, a usage dating from the 1890s or earlier. Former New York governor Mario Cuomo in his 1968 book, Thieves, wrote, “I guess I gave you a bum steer on him.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price