beg to differ

Idioms & Phrases

beg to differ

Disagree with someone, as in John told me Max was sure to win, but I beg to differI 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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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