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  1. #1
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    It's a long road with no turns

    I have heard this idiom a few times, sometimes phrased as "It's a long road with no turning."

    I've been hoping to find someone that could explain the meaning of this phrase to me. I've found a couple of guesses on the internet, but nobody who seems to really know.

    I would appreciate any thoughts!

  2. #2
    philadelphia's Avatar
    philadelphia is offline Senior Member
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    Re: It's a long road with no turns

    Quote Originally Posted by JPA77 View Post
    I have heard this idiom a few times, sometimes phrased as "It's a long road with no turning."

    I've been hoping to find someone that could explain the meaning of this phrase to me. I've found a couple of guesses on the internet, but nobody who seems to really know.

    I would appreciate any thoughts!
    We French have the opposite idiom. A long road implies turnings, so this idiom could be turned into humour. The use of 'with/no' reveals the originality of the phrase.

  3. #3
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    Re: It's a long road with no turns

    Quote Originally Posted by JPA77 View Post
    I have heard this idiom a few times, sometimes phrased as "It's a long road with no turning."

    I've been hoping to find someone that could explain the meaning of this phrase to me. I've found a couple of guesses on the internet, but nobody who seems to really know.

    I would appreciate any thoughts!
    This is a thought; it's not authoritative.
    It means "The road would seem longer than it is if there were no turns in it."
    "A road without turns is [seems] very long".

    As a proverb, I guess the meaning could be something like, "Life would be very boring if it didn't throw up some surprises occasionally" - i.e. "It's a long life with no surprises."
    Or, sticking closer to the original, "It seems like such a long journey if there is nothing to break the monotony."

  4. #4
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    Re: It's a long road with no turns

    The sentence could also mean that once a journey begins there is no turning back.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: It's a long road with no turns

    There are quite a few examples of it on the web as 'It's a long road that has no turn/turning', and a suggested meaning is to encourage people not to give up or lose hope when things aren't going well.

  6. #6
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    Re: It's a long road with no turns

    'Don't give up. Something will happen to change the [bleak] outlook.' It can also mean 'Don't expect a smooth passage, just because things are going well at the moment'. That is, in either case, 'Things are bound to change.'

    b

  7. #7
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    Re: It's a long road with no turns

    Either I am a pessimist or I mistook "with no turning" for "with no turning back".
    The below is what I understood when I first see it;
    Once you are on the road there will be no chance for you to return. ( All bridges are burnt) or more plainly you're doomed.

  8. #8
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    Re: It's a long road with no turns

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    Either I am a pessimist or I mistook "with no turning" for "with no turning back".
    The below is what I understood when I first see it;
    Once you are on the road there will be no chance for you to return. ( All bridges are burnt) or more plainly you're doomed.
    Quite reasonable - that's a more common use of 'with' (though if I meant that I'd use a comma).

    b

  9. #9
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    Re: It's a long road with no turns

    Sounds like a boring job or task that requires lots of time and patience to be completed.

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