T-learning # Idiom
Speak Like a Native

to go down the rabbit hole

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to find yourself in a complex situation

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

If you go ’down the rabbit hole’, it means you enter into a situation or begin a process or journey that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds.

The term may also be used to describe a very time-consuming activity on the internet (when a user spends too much time on a specific task).

The idiom comes from Lewis Carroll’s book Alice in Wonderland.

French translation

‘faire un saut dans l’inconnu’, ‘partir à l’aventure’, or in some contexts ‘se heurter à un mur’

How NOT to translate : *descendre dans le terrier du lapin


Examples in context

‘You should see the charity thing. It was almost water under the bridge. Our politics have gone so far down the rabbit hole that a story about how the President of the United States agreed to pay $2 million at a court’s order—while admitting he used his charity for his own gain—barely made a splash. Folks saw the headline and thought to themselves, Well, yeah, of course Donald Trump ran a crooked charity. ’

Esquire, 12 Dec. 2019


What would you do without a strategy and mission statement ?
“I would freak,” says Jeff Leo Herrmann, CEO of The Business Journal.
As The Business Journal explores opportunities for expansion (…) a strategy and mission statement helps keep things grounded to avoid trying to take on too much, Herrmann says. “It can be so easy to head down a rabbit hole chasing something that looks good, but might not be best for our business,” he says.

The Business Journal, 2019


Everyday usage

She was fascinated by that video game and couldn’t help playing. Once alone she dove into the rabbit hole.

I have been working non-stop for most of the year. At least it is finally coming to an end, but I couldn’t go down the rabbit hole again

Overhauling the current tax legislation is a rabbit hole I don’t think this administration should go down at this point.

b) to go on a drinking spree

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) to organise one’s life with daily routines

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

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