double back

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이 표현은 Don Lee님께서 추천해주셨습니다. 감사합니다.

우리는 이미 지나온 길을 다시 돌아가야할 때가 있다.

  • 자동차를 주차하고 걸어오다가 갑자기 이런 생각이 들 때, “자동차 안 잠갔다..”
  • 프로젝트가 80% 진행되었는데, 첫 단추가 잘못끼워진 것을 깨달을 때. “아..처음부터 다시 시작해야하네”
  • (공항에서) “여권 안가져왔어? 장난해?!!!! 다시 돌아가야하잖아…”

이런 상황에서 go back이라는 표현을 써도 되지만, 걸어왔던 길을 두번이나 반복해야하는 안타까움을 담아낸 표현이 있다.

“Yes. We will have to double back and get your freakin passport!”

  1. go back in the direction one has come.


double back 에서 왜 double을 쓸까? 다음과 같이 생각하면 쉽다.


어떤 한 지점(START) 에서 다른 지점(END)까지 이만큼의 거리를 지나왔다면..


다시 돌아가려면 똑같은 거리만큼 움직여야하고,


궁극적으로는 처음의 거리를 double한 셈이다.

  • You want me to ride off with the chickenshits, then double back, be happy to. (Cowboys & Aliens)
  • We’ll cross through the lab, and then we’ll double back. (Breakfast Club)
  • Perhaps we could double back over our tracks, and confuse the trail in a clever way. (True Grit)
  • They double back to her front door. (Save the Last Dance)
  • They double back to escape the cul-de-sac. The Terminator steps in front of them, cutting them off. (Terminator)


  • Listen up, because this information is hard to come by: There’s no left turn off of Truman Rd., so keep going east through the big stone arches then turn around somewhere and double back to the arches. (Bloomberg)
  • Back and forth, back and forth, from Asia to Europe and back, and double back – Russian history as usual. (Economist)
  • Syntacticians often refer to the garden-path phenomenon, wherein a reader is led down one interpretive route before having to double back to the beginning of the sentence to get on the right track. (NYT)


  • If you see a woman alone on a dark street, that is NOT the time to double-back, cross the street, get behind her & mutter, “Check this out.”
  • I already got my mind set I just will never double back. I’m over it. I’m over him
  • I forgot my ticket at home and I had to double back

  • Is it a slang? No.
  • Can I use it in an email? Yes.
  • Can I use it in a formal setting? No. Use “return” instead.
  • Frequency? Used often in fiction
context plot
data source: Davies, Mark. (2008-) The Corpus of Contemporary American English: 450 million words, 1990-present. Available online at


1800년대부터 조금씩 인기가 많아진 표현이고, “X로 다시 돌아간다”라는 의미의 “double back to X” 형태로 자주 쓰이는 것을 확인할 수 있다.

image source: Google Ngram


1. 과거로 쓰일 경우, double backed 가 아니라 doubled back이다!

– we double backed (X)

– we doubled back (O)

2. “double back” 자체가 동사다. 형용사로 착각하지 말자.

– we have to be double back (X)

– we have to double back (O)

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