I beg your pardon

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English[edit]

Phrase[edit]

I beg your pardon

  1. A phrase used to request something, for example if it wasn't heard.
    • 1915, Anatole France, Crainquebille, Putois, Riquet and other profitable tales, translated by Winfred Stephens
      Monsieur Gobin and Monsieur Jean Marteau came in. Monsieur Bergeret told them the subject of the conversation:
      "We were talking of the man whom my mother one day caused to exist, and created gardener at Saint-Omer. She gave him a name. Henceforth he acted."
      "I beg you pardon, sir?" said Monsieur Goubin, wiping his eye-glasses. "Do you mind saying that over again?"
      "Willingly," replied Monsieur Bergeret. "There was no gardener. The gardener did not exist. My mother said: 'I expect the gardener!' Straightway the gardener existed—and acted."
  2. A phrase used to express an apology for an action.
    • 1877, Anna Sewell, Black Beauty Chapter 22[1]
      York got down and said very respectfully, "I beg your pardon, my lady, but these horses have not been reined up for three years, and my lord said it would be safer to bring them to it by degrees; but if your ladyship pleases, I can take them up a little more."
    • 1865, Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
      “Not like cats!” cried the Mouse in a shrill, passionate voice. “Would you like cats, if you were me?”
      “Well, perhaps not,” said Alice in a soothing tone: “don’t be angry about it. And yet I wish I could show you our cat Dinah. I think you’d take a fancy to cats, if you could only see her. She is such a dear quiet thing,” Alice went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about in the pool, “and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her paws and washing her face—and she is such a nice soft thing to nurse—and she’s such a capital one for catching mice——oh, I beg your pardon!” cried Alice again, for this time the Mouse was bristling all over, and she felt certain it must be really offended. “We wo’n’t talk about her any more if you’d rather not.”
  3. A phrase used to ask for clarification of something said if it is unexpected, odd or seen as rude without context

Translations[edit]