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To beg off

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • To beg off to obtain another's release through entreaty, to seek that one's self may be relieved of some penalty or liability
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
The ety. is very obscure; the words beg and beggar first appear in the 13th century, and Dr Murray thinks the most likely derivation is from the O. Fr. begart, begard, and begar (L. beghardus = beghard), or its synonym beguine and derivative verb beguigner, beguiner, to act the beguin. The Beghards or Beguines were a lay mendicant order, and in the 13th century mendicants calling themselves by these names swarmed over Western Europe.

Usage

In literature:

The Rockpoint lads tried to beg off, but the authorities took the matter in hand, and every one of them was sent to the reformatory.
"The Young Oarsmen of Lakeview" by Ralph Bonehill
Beg your Ma's pardon; and let's be off to the theater.
"The Bill-Toppers" by Andre Castaigne
Nora would go to the Barone and beg off for him.
"The Place of Honeymoons" by Harold MacGrath
Then she sent off to Father Francis to beg his advice.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866" by Various
Elizabeth had protested and tried to beg off from the yearly stipend before, but never in that manner.
"The Wind Before the Dawn" by Dell H. Munger
Some of them want to leave off being obliged to beg for the help of a man.
"Woman on Her Own, False Gods & The Red Robe" by Eugène Brieux
Fixin' to try to beg off now, huh?
"The Life of the Party" by Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
Fishermen came off in boats to ask for them, policemen and soldiers, too, begged for a book, and then asked for another for 'a child at school.
"The Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy"" by John MacGregor
I wasn't much given to begging off when I got into trouble, but I tried that time, all right.
"From the Car Behind" by Eleanor M. Ingram
I had meant to beg or buy of him this same fierce automaton, but something broke off the treaty.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845." by Various
She begged the men to cut her leg off.
"The Johnstown Horror" by James Herbert Walker
He always begged to be allowed to take his veil off, and asked if I minded very much.
"Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4)" by Various
And she ran off to find her father, and beg him to marry the lady at once.
"The Olive Fairy Book" by Various
This was no less than a visit to the Castle, to beg one of the cast-off gowns of the women of the household.
"One Snowy Night" by Emily Sarah Holt
When we want you to beg us off we'll let you know.
"Tatterdemalion" by John Galsworthy
Not a particle of use for you to whine, and yelp, and try to beg off.
"The Land of Thor" by J. Ross Browne
I can't get them to beg off, either!
"The Trouble with Telstar" by John Berryman
I went up to the Hall to beg for the fragments off the rich man's table.
"Olla Podrida" by Frederick Marryat
He drank a cup of his mother's tea, when they arrived home, then begged off to bed.
"A Canadian Bankclerk" by J. P. Buschlen
Ham came back after a while to the General and begged him to promise not to tell 'Marfa,' and then went off satisfied.
"Uncle Daniel's Story Of "Tom" Anderson And Twenty Great Battles" by John McElroy
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In poetry:

They begged him to spare from his personal store
A single cork garment - they asked for no more;
But he couldn't, because of the number of oaths
That he never - no, never! - would take off his clothes.
"Brave Alum Bey" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Perhaps you’re going out to dine,—­
Some odious creature begs
You’ll hear about the cannon-ball
That carried off his pegs,
And says it is a dreadful thing
For men to lose their legs.
"The Music-Grinders" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

In news:

I beg you not to set off your fireworks on New Years.
Quinn kicked off the day with an impassioned plea to allow the evidence, saying he had never begged a court for anything throughout a more than 30-year legal career but was begging now.
So lately, I've found myself nearly begging my friends who work eight-to-five jobs to take a least one day off work to get out with me on some hike or another.
Tiger Woods, 33, phoned his off-and-on girlfriend, 24 year-old Los Angeles cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs, and left a message in which he begged her to change her voicemail greeting.
Texas Music singer-songwriter Rusty Wier was supposed to play a show this Saturday at Cowtown Sports Bar & Grill — his second there and about his millionth in Fort Worth — but had to beg off.
BETTER OFF DEAD In October in Orange County, California, Billy Joe Johnson, who had just been convicted of murder as a hit man for a white supremacist gang, begged the judge and jury, in all sincerity, to sentence him to death.
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