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Long way to the back door

Posted by ESC on November 25, 2005

In Reply to: Long way to the back door posted by Fran on November 25, 2005

: Has anyone ever heard the phrase. The long way to the back door? Or maybe its the long way to the barn door? I think it basically means taking the long way, when you could have done it much faster or easier etc..

It makes me think of a frequent theme in the newspaper comic, "Family Circus." A parent sends one of the children to get something, etc., and he takes the long (scenic) route. See

And it puts me in mind of this phrase:

ALL AROUND ROBIN HOOD'S BARN - "Robin Hood (or 'Robert of the wood,' as some have explained the name) may have been altogether a legendary figure or may have actually existed. No one knows. The earliest literary reference to him is in Langland's 'Piers Plowman,' written about 1377. He may have lived, according to some light evidence, toward the latter part of the twelfth century. But Robin Hood's house was Sherwood Forest; its roof the leaves and branches. His dinner was the king's deer; his wealth the purses of hapless travelers. What need had he of a barn, and how was it laid out if to go around it means, as the use of the phrase implies, a rambling roundabout course? The explanation is simple. He had no barn. His granary, when he had need of one, was the cornfields of the neighborhood. To go around his barn was to make a circuitous route around the neighborhood fields." From "A Hog on Ice" (1948, Harper & Row) by Charles Earle Funk. This is one in a series of four books by Mr. Funk now available in one volume.