off beam

off beam :

a beam in your eye

a fault that is greater in yourself than in the person you are finding fault with

This phrase comes from Matthew 7 : 3 : Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thy own eye?

broad in the beam

fat round the hips – informal

A beam was one of the horizontal transverse timbers in a wooden ship and so the word came to refer to a ship's breadth at its widest point. It is from this sense that the current meaning of broad in the beam developed.

off beam = way off beam

on the wrong track

mistaken - informal

Originally, this phrase referred to the radio beam or signal used to guide aircraft.

1997 - Anthony Barnett - This Time I sample the press coverage to illustrate how large sections of the Fourth Estate were way off beam in their conviction that voters want the country steered back towards Great Englishness.

on your beam ends

near the end of your resources


The beam referred to here is one of the main horizontal transverse timbers of a wooden ship. The phrase originated as the nautical term on her beam ends and was used of a ship that had heeled over on its side and was almost capsizing.

off beam :

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