beside oneself

Idioms & Phrases

beside oneself

In a state of extreme agitation or excitement, as in She was beside herself when she found she'd lost her ring, or Peter was beside himself with joyhe'd won the poetry award. This phrase appears in the New Testament (Acts 26:24): "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning makes thee mad." [Late 1400s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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