가끔 누군가와 어떤주제를 가지고 열띤 토론 또는 말다툼을 하다보면…. 대화가 진전이 안될 때가 있다. 서로 똑같은 말만 계속하거나, 끈질기게 우기거나, 쉽게 양보하지 않으려고 한다. 생각보다 이런 일이 자주 일어나는데, 이런 현상을 영어로 어떻게 표현할까? “Dude, we are just going around in circles!


  1. If you go round in circles when you are discussing something or trying to achieve something, you do not make any progress because you keep going back to the same subjects or the same problems.


  1. 말다툼할 때 “도로 제자리로 돌아오는” 의미 이외에, “허탕치다”의 의미로도 쓰인다. 예전에 다루었던 spin one’s wheel 와 비슷하다. image_img


  • We’re going around in circles. Will you just trust me? (Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow)
  • We’re really going around in circles here. Just accept the facts, okay? (About A Boy)
  • You’re just going around in circles! Think, Fry, think. Everyone’s depending on you. (Futurama)
  • You just wanna go around in circles again? This is a young man’s life, and it is worth more than a five-minute conversation! (The Walking Dead)
  • We were going around in circles. Stick with me. I don’t want to go around again. We’re not in Kansas any more, Toto. (Good Morning Vietnam)
image_img 대화에서 “Going around in circles”를 방지하는 하나의 방법.


  • Unfortunately, his opponent kept on running and going around in circles. (Bloomberg)
  • I stepped into a Q train recently only to find a pigeon literally going around in circles. (NYT)
  • “I was going around in circles and getting anxious,” said one single mother-of-two, of her 15-year-old son’s struggle in junior high school. (Bloomberg)


  • how many more times do you go around in circles before you finally stop?
  • Driving around in circles literally looking for an argument… This is too much. absolute morons
  • this conversation is going around in circles and is starting to get annoying


  • Is it a slang? No.
  • Can I use it in an email? Yes.
  • Can I use it in a formal setting? Yes

context plot data source: Davies, Mark. (2008-) The Corpus of Contemporary American English: 450 million words, 1990-present. Available online at http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/


around in circles가 어떤 단어와 자주쓰이는지 검색해본 결과인데, 현재진행형(going)과 함께 자주 쓰인 것을 확인할 수 있다. ngram_img image source: Google Ngram


  1. circleS. 원을 한번 도는 것이 아니라 많이 도는 것을 기억하자!
  2. Dude, we are just going around in circle (X)
  3. Dude, we are just going around in circleS (X)