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Go back to square one

verb phrase

To be forced to return to one’s starting point, usually after a waste of effort; make a new beginning

Related Terms

back to square one, square one

[1960+; probably fr the first or starting square of a board game; an elaborate suggestion that it refers to a British grid system for locating places on the soccer field, for radio broadcasting of games, cannot be verified]


Read Also:

  • Go back to the well

    verb phrase To return to a reliable source: We just kept going back to the well and he just kept making it (1980s+)

  • Go balls out

    verb phrase To make a supreme effort; go for broke: I went balls out on my term paper [1980s+ Students; see balls-out and balls to the wall]

  • Goban

    [goh-bahng] /goʊˈbɑŋ/ noun 1. a Japanese game played on a go board with players alternating and attempting to be first to place five counters in a row.

  • Go bananas

    verb phrase [late 1960s+; fr the spectacle of an ape greedily gobbling bananas] Act crazy, as in When it comes to animal rights, some people go bananas. According to the lexicographer J. E. Lighter, this expression may allude to the similar go ape, in that apes and other primates are closely associated with eating bananas. […]

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