beg to differ
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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈbɛɡ tə ˈdɪfə/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈbɛɡ tə ˈdɪfɚ/
Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: beg to dif‧fer
- (idiomatic) To offer an opposing opinion humbly.
- Synonym: disagree
- 1819, Thomas Broughton, The Cure for Pauperism; or, The Ancient Standards of Value Compared with the Artificial Standards Created by the Paper Currency; with a Plan of an Effectual Measure of Finance, London: Printed for T[homas] Cadell & W[illiam] Davies, […], and J. M. Richardson, […], by Charles Wood, […], OCLC 885007590, page 27:
- Thus Lord King asserted, February 28, 1818, "That the whole of what the noble Secretary of State, Lord Liverpool, had said, amounted to this, that the Sinking Fund was only nominal, and had not paid one shilling of the debt." To which Lord Liverpool replied, "He begged to differ with his Lordship, and was of opinion, that the Sinking Fund was real."
- 1912, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells, “Crisis”, in Marriage, London: Macmillan and Co., Limited […], OCLC 803861581, book the first (Marjorie Marries), § 8, page 183:
- "Look here, sir, this is all very well," he began, "but why can't I fall in love with your daughter? I'm a Doctor of Science and all that sort of thing. I've a perfectly decent outlook. My father was rather a swell in his science. I'm an entirely decent and respectable person." / "I beg to differ," said Mr. Pope. / "But I am." / "Again," said Mr. Pope, with great patience, and a slight forward bowing of the head, "I beg to differ."
- 2015, Catherine Mayer, quoting Michael John Elliott, “Introduction”, in Charles: The Heart of a King, London: W. H. Allen, →ISBN; republished London: W. H. Allen, 2016, →ISBN, page 45:
- Most of the conversation was taken up with an agonised appraisal of the Prince's [i.e., Charles, Prince of Wales's] proper role, together with much royal muttering (conventional wisdom in 1985) that Britain had lost its dynamism for which it was once famous. I begged to differ, and implored the Prince to consider the new, entrepreneurial, street-cred economy being created at that very moment in the clubs and streets, the fashion houses and TV studios and advertising agencies of Soho and Covent Garden.
- (idiomatic) To differ (strongly) in interpretation or opinion.
- Synonym: disagree
- 1854 July 1, “Art II.—(1.) Of the Plurality of Worlds: An Essay. London: John W. Parker and Son. 1853. (2.) More Worlds than One, the Creed of the Philosopher, and the Hope of the Christian. By Sir David Brewster, K.H., D.C.L., &c. &c. London: John Murray. 1854.”, in The British Quarterly Review, volume XX, number XXXIX, London: Jackson & Walford, […]; and Simpkin, Marshall and Co., […], OCLC 1009032764, page 69:
- Now the pluralists may say that a place where they run up new houses, and pull down old ones, is by no means disqualified for occupation, but he begs to differ from them decidedly.
- 1996 June, Mark Hansen, “Death’s Door”, in Gary A. Hengstler, editor, ABA Journal: The Lawyer’s Magazine, volume 82, Chicago, Ill.: American Bar Association, ISSN 0747-0088, OCLC 12253250, page 64, column 1:
- Esther Lardent, chief consultant to the ABA's Post Conviction Death Penalty Representation Project, which has helped recruit pro bono lawyers for death row appeals since 1987, begs to differ. Finding a lawyer to represent a death row inmate has never been easy, Lardent says. And finding one now, she says, will be harder than ever.
- 2000, Geoffrey Miller, “Arts of Seduction”, in The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature, New York, N.Y.: Doubleday, →ISBN; 1st Anchor Books edition, New York, N.Y.: Anchor Books, April 2001, →ISBN, page 270:
- Fortunately, bowerbirds cannot talk, so we are free to use sexual selection to explain their work, without them begging to differ.
- 2009 June 19, Bob Inglis, “Expressing Support for Iranians who Embrace Democracy [H. Res. 560]”, in Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 111th Congress, First Session (United States House of Representatives), volume 155, part 12, Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, ISSN 0363-7239, OCLC 13530005, page 15731, column 1:
- [...] I saw this morning that the Supreme Leader of Iran said that street challenge is not acceptable. This is challenging democracy after the elections. Well, we beg to differ and the people of Iran are begging to differ. When you can count paper ballots, millions of them, within a couple of hours, something's funny.
- 2018 March 26, A. A. Dowd, “Steven Spielberg Finds Fun, and maybe even a Soul, in the Pandering Pastiche of Ready Player One”, in The A.V. Club, archived from the original on 31 May 2018:
offer an opposing opinion humbly
differ strongly in opinion
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