Giving someone a wide berth
Posted by R. Berg on September 10, 2001
In Reply to: Giving someone a wide berth posted by mortimer on September 10, 2001
: What is the origin and basic meaning of th phrase "I give his type a wide berth"?
Meaning: I stay away from him, I shun or avoid him, or I'm civil
but not cordial--because I dislike or fear him.
Origin: The first definition of "berth" in Webster's Second Unabridged, 1934, is a nautical sense: "Convenient sea room; sufficient room to maneuver under way or to swing at anchor;--esp. in phrases, and often fig.; as, to give a wide berth to."