Beyond-the-pale Definition

(idiomatic) Describing behaviour that is considered to be outside the bounds of morality, good behaviour or judgement in civilised company.


Origin of Beyond-the-pale

  • From pale, a jurisdiction under a given authority; often held by one nation in another country, hence suggesting that anything outside their control was uncivilized. It was in use by the mid-17th century. The phrase may be a reference to the general sense of boundary, but is often understood to refer to the English Pale in Ireland. In the nominally English territory of Ireland, only the pale fell genuinely under the authority of English law, hence the terms within the pale and beyond the pale.

    From Wiktionary

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