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.

off the beaten trackCompared 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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