In today’s idiom post we are going to examining the meaning and origin of the phrase “Off the beaten track.” A common variant of this phrase is “off the beaten path”, but they have identical meanings. Occasionally this phrase is used within a conversation to refer to the conversation itself and how it has drifted far from the original topic.
Idiom-Off the Beaten Track
Definition: “Off the beaten track” is a phrase often used in song lyrics and poems, often depicting a protagonist soldiering on after a heartache or failure.
Compared to other idioms featured in this blog, the meaning of “off the beaten track” is self explanatory. It refers to when one attempts to shun a frequently utilized belief or daily routine. It also describes an unusual route or a rarely traveled destination. The term is often used figuratively, as in embarking on a journey or going through a plan that most people deem risky .
Example: Derek promised himself that he wouldn’t lose hope even after turning down his parents’ advice and going off the beaten track.
Origin: Many believe that the phrase goes back to Henry David Thoreau. Its supposed original variation states, “It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves.” It was used as a metaphor for how a person can easily fall into the trap of his daily routine and how much potential is being missed out on not the road less traveled.
Accent Reduction idioms series
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