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Disagree with someone, as in John told me Max was sure to win, but I beg to differ—I don't think he has a chance . This courteous formula for expressing disagreement echoes similar uses of beg in the sense of “ask,” such as I beg your pardon , so used since about 1600. Also see excuse me
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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