What does "on the beat" mean?
Great question. "On the beat" is actually a term related to the Police. In police terminology, a beat is the area and time of day that a police officer patrols. Beat policing is based on the old style of policing was typically a patrol on foot or bicycle which provided more interaction between police and community members. However in modern usage it simply means to be on duty or at work. You will hear it used by both the police and people who do regular jobs. When it is used by someone with a "regular job" it is usually used to give the idea that the job is kind of hard or drains your energy. Ex: Cutting the number of officers on the beat was necessary because of the low budget. Ex: A: Hey, I've never seen you before. First day on the beat? B: Yes. I'm the new waiter.