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Last updated at 13:28 GMT, Monday, 05 November 2012

Step out of line

Members of the 1st Battalion and No. 7 Company the Coldstream Guards

An officer shouts orders as members of the 1st Battalion and No. 7 Company the Coldstream Guards line up for inspection by Queen Elizabeth II. Photo by Andrew Winning.

Today's Phrase

If somebody 'steps out of line' it means they don't follow the rules or what is expected of them; behave out of step with his peers. It's also used figuratively to refer to someone behaving badly.

For example:

Teachers in my school are very keen on discipline. They severely punish anyone who steps out of line.

Some tribal societies are very conservative. Anyone stepping out of line could be cut off from the rest of the group.

Don't confuse it with

'To step out of line' is not to be confused with 'to be next in line' for (something). If someone is 'next in line' for (something) it means he or she is likely to get something, like a promotion at work or an award.

My boss has been praising my leadership skills. I think I might be next in line for a managerial post.

Interesting fact

Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards is the oldest regiment in the regular army in continuous active service, originating in Coldstream, Scotland in 1650.

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