beyond one's pay grade

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Possibly from the correspondence of pay grade to level of authority in U.S. Civil Service and in the U.S. armed forces.

Prepositional phrase[edit]

beyond one's pay grade

  1. (idiomatic) Beyond one's level of authority.
    • 1971, Testimony before U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Armed Services,
      Sir, I think that is a policy decision only the President can make. That is beyond my pay grade.
  2. (idiomatic) Beyond one's capability.
    • 2007, Los Angeles Times,
      Figuring out how it would work logistically is above and beyond my pay grade and my brain power.