Go around the houses

< Previous | Next >

megane_wang

Senior Member
Spanish / Catalan
Hi--

I am trying to find out a phrase to translate a catalan saying which is used to describe that you are going from place A to place B through a long and winding route instead of taking a well-known highway that goes straight from A to B.

Someone suggested that "go around the houses" could be an option to translate my problem-phrase, but also suggested to check how it is used.

My original phrase in catalan is:
- Only used to describe physical, "geographic" routes
- Quite colloquial

Could "go around the houses" be used in a similar way? Or could anyone suggest an alternative?

A sample: Next time I go to Vic, I don't want to go around the houses.

Many thanks in advance !!!!!!!!!!!! :)
 
  • Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Sometimes you say "take the scenic route" to mean go in a roundabout way rather than the fastest way. It normally means taking backroads instead of the highway.

    Edit: It is often used to state that you incurred an unwanted delay or got lost on the way. "Sorry, I took the scenic route" might be used to apologize for being late.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    For some reason, I feel that going round the houses is mostly used in a non-physical sense - taking forever to get to the point of a question for example.

    Old Novice's scenic route sounds familiar, though.
     

    Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I see... therefore I coul use it with a bit of irony as well, am I right ?

    That would be great.
    Yes. It's something one spouse might say about another. Depending on the exact context, "George [took/likes to take] the scenic route" could mean he [was/is often] late or unfocused or distracted. Or it could also just mean that he hates highways. It doesn't have to be ironic.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Old Novice's answer is perfect. :) It works in all cases, in my opinion.

    For one small subset of possibilities, if you are late getting home, you can say, "I took the long way home." It's rarely used literally.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top