Bum steer

Bum steer is an idiom that first appeared around the turn of the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic term bum steer, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

A bum steer is bad advice, wrong or misleading information, incorrect directions. The expression bum steer may also refer to an item that is not as good as promised. The idiom bum steer first appeared around the turn of the twentieth century and is still popular in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The word bum is derived from German-American slang. The word steer, in this case, refers to the act of guiding someone or something, as in steering someone in the right direction. The plural form of bum steer is bum steers.

Examples

A husband-and-wife cattle business claims they got a bum steer from embattled restaurateur Ken Friedman when he stiffed them out of nearly $40,000 in custom butchered beef, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court. (The New York Daily News)

Not all fans got a bum steer on seats last night at Marvel Stadium. (The Herald Sun)

Lang thinks FEMA has given the village a bum steer. (The Peoria Journal Star)