Where Did the Phrase “Beside the Point” Come From and What Does the Expression Mean?

The expression “beside the point” is from ancient archery and literally means your shot is wide of the target.

Its figurative meaning, that your argument is irrelevant, entered the language about 1352, as did “You’ve missed the mark.”

Both suggest that regardless of your intentions, your invalid statement is outside the subject under discussion.

A non-relevant statement during a debate or argument is said to be “beside the point”.

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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