Sayings: Beyond the pale

I’ve often said, when espying an injustice that was so outrageously displayed that no one could miss it, as being beyond the pale.

The pale within a fence became an area of land within a boundary such as a county, and then to areas within Ireland that were held by the British. As these became smaller, those areas were deemed to be uncivilized.

This, in modern parlance, beyond the pale refers to someone’s behavior being outside the accepted norm.

There’s also…

In a word: Pale

Which is the color of the face of a person who is usually desperately unwell?

As distinct from a pale face, a white man is described by the American Indians. This, sadly, was learned from American westerns, motion pictures that told a rather interesting version of events between the Indians and the new settlers.

Paleface was in one movie, in particular, Bob Hope.

A pale can also be a single upright piece of wood in a fence.

Something could pale into significance, or be a pale imitation of a better quality article.

Not to be confused with a pail, which is a bucket, wooden or otherwise, that holds liquids.

The most famous of which is that which Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch a pail of water, and, well, you know how that ended.

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