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.”