also, I beg your pardon
- it is a way of apologising for something that has been said or done
- a way of asking someone to repeat what was said
- a way of expressing disbelief
- a way of getting someone’s attention
- expressing that you do not agree with someone
- a polite interjection
- Pardon me for offending you. I didn’t realise that you were sensitive to the subject.
- Pardon me? I couldn’t hear you over the cars driving past.
- You are going to have to apologise to the new head of department. Pardon me? You cannot be serious.
- Pardon me? You want me to do what!?
- Pardon me, would you mind helping me over here?
- Pardon me, but I believe the answer is incorrect.
The word pardon originated in Medieval Latin. It means to forgive. The origin of the word is thought to have its origins between 1250 – 1300. It was rude to address someone directly. Thus, you asked for forgiveness if you had to call on them.
It is even found in the writings of Shakespeare. Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene I
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth
It is used in a more informal fashion now than it used to be. It is politer to say “I beg your pardon.”