Posted by Smokey Stover on July 01, 2005
In Reply to: Simply beggars belief posted by Bob on June 30, 2005
: : Hi All,
: : Could anyone pls let me know the meaninig of the phrase "simply beggars belief".
: : Thanks,
: : Manjit
: "Beggars" in this case is a transitive verb here, not the more familiar plural noun. From dictionary.com:
: 1. One who solicits alms for a living.
: 2. An impoverished person; a pauper.
: 3. Informal. A man or a boy.
: tr.v. beg·gared, beg·gar·ing, beg·gars
: 1. To make a beggar of; impoverish.
: 2. To exceed the limits, resources, or capabilities of: beauty that beggars description.
: It's that second definition of the verb that you want.
And it's Shakespeare who provided the phrase "beggars description," and was the first to use (in print) the verb "beggar" in the fashioned described above. SS