Idiom Decoded: 'below the belt'

This phrase is an Idiom (a phrase or word that does NOT imply or talk about LITERAL meaning) that means ‘not fair or unjust’. Meaning, an act or move that aggrieves, hurt or pained and even saddened another person. ‘Below’ represents ‘under’. ‘the belt’ here resembles  ‘boundary or limits’ that have been ignored or forgotten. We are talking more about connotations of each word not its LITERAL meaning or sense. 

We know ‘belt’ is used literally to restrain pants or skirts/clothes from falling or used to keep the garments in place – in this idiom, belt connotes border between fairness and wickedness or order (everything in the right place).


Donna was treated below the belt when the Supervisor asked her to do things personally for her way beyond her duties as a bank teller. 

- The supervisor might have asked Donna to get things for her that she may have left at home that could have been asked to her personal assistant if she has.

- The supervisor might have commanded Donna to shop for things she needed at home – that is not fair being the superior is just her boss in the bank and not personally being the bank as her employer not the supervisor.

- Donna might have been asked to fetch the supervisor’s child in school which is very much different from the job scope she signed for the bank.

The conceited woman has been joking ‘below the belt’ that made everyone annoyed not to join the conversation. Here are possible meaning or implications of the word:

- The woman may have been humiliating other people in public with her nasty jokes.
- The woman joked beyond the real purpose of one – to make everyone happy BUT just to hurt other’s feelings and shame their pride.

I do hope that I have helped you understand the above idiom better and I will be posting more soon.

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Thanks a lot for doing that. I hope that we will not hit other people below the belt for us to have a healthy social relationshipJ Have a blessed day ah
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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.