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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.
To avoid someone or something. Steer clear of the boss today—he's yelling at everyone he sees. The 8:00 train is always late, so steer clear of it if you want to be on time.
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.
See also: steer
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.
See also: steer
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.
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.
a bum steermainly AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you describe information that you are given as a bum steer, you mean that it is incorrect. Did you give me a bum steer about your name and address? Note: This expression may refer to a worthless bullock, which is a young male cow. Alternatively, it may refer to someone being given directions which are not correct.
steer clear of someone/something
COMMON If you steer clear of someone or something, you deliberately avoid them. I'd advise anyone with sensitive or dry skins to steer clear of soap. Steer clear of Paola unless you want to be stuck with her all evening.
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).
steer (or take) a middle courseadopt a policy which avoids extremes.
steer clear oftake care to avoid or keep away from.
2002 ChartAttack Live Reviews If you're looking for Hollywood gloss and spectacle, steer clear of this film.
a bum ˈsteer(American English, informal) wrong or unhelpful information or advice: Whoever recommended this software gave you a bum steer, I’m afraid.
steer/stay/keep clear (of somebody/something)avoid somebody/something: I’m trying to lose weight so I have to steer clear of fattening foods. ♢ It’s best to stay clear of the bank at lunchtimes as it gets very busy.
follow/steer/take a middle ˈcourse,
find, etc. a/the middle ˈwayfollow, find, etc. a plan that is halfway between two opposing plans; compromise: Kate wanted to stay for the rest of the week, and I wanted to leave straight away, so in the end we followed a middle course and stayed a couple of days. ♢ In politics you often have to steer a middle course. OPPOSITE: go to extremes
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.