To keep confusion at bay means to avoid or prevent confusion.


  • The old French words 'abbay' and 'abai' refer to the low whine that builds up just before a dog barks. In the 14th century, barking hounds were kept 'at bay' ie, kept from attacking. This seems to be the earliest source of the phrase to keep something 'at bay'. A later source that may have helped the phrase to catch on, is when ships were literally kept in the bay before entering port.

To keep confusion at bay, perhaps we'll start with multiplication and move on to fractions later.

Submitted by Soulwriter on April 13, 2021


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