What Does the Expression “Straight and Narrow” Mean and Where Did the Idiom Come From?

Someone on the “straight and narrow” is living a legal, moral, and disciplined life.

The expression was referred to in The Pilgrim’s Progress by English writer John Bunyan (1628-1688).

In that inspirational book, Pilgrim, the representative of everyman, must follow the “straight and narrow.”

The phrase has a biblical origin in Matthew 7:14:

“Broad is the way that is the path of destruction but narrow is the gate and straight is the way that leadeth to the house of God.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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