America is my beat

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jacdac, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. jacdac

    jacdac Senior Member

    "... <..>
    I travel here and there. Michigan one week, Florida the next, then maybe a hop to Coney Island for a Redhot and a ride on the Cyclone. I am what you might call a rambling man, and America is my beat. I keep an eye on certain people, and check back on them every once and again.”
    Source: Gwendy Button Boy by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
    Context: Gwendy is making an acquaintance of Mr Farris, a middle aged black man.

    What does the bolded expression mean? Would it mean my area of interest? My playground?

    Thank you.
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    You have to look a long way in WRF's dictionary before the meaning is found:
    beat - Dictionary of English
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017

    47. one's assigned or regular path or habitual round:
    a policeman's beat.
  3. jacdac

    jacdac Senior Member

    Thank you.
  4. Sparky Malarky

    Sparky Malarky Moderator

    English - US
    PaulQ is correct, but a reporter also has a "beat," which is his assigned area of interest. This may be closer to the speaker's meaning. Anyway, his area of interest and responsibility is America.

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