over the river and through the woods

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Originally based on a Thanksgiving poem written by Lydia Maria Child, this phrase was eventually turned into one of the many various Christmas carols and then soon developed its own meaning in the English lexicon. See the Wikipedia article for more information.


  • IPA(key): /ˈoʊ.vɚ ðə ˈɹɪvɚ ən(d) θɹu ðə wʊdz/


over the river and through the woods (not comparable)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: see over,‎ the,‎ river,‎ and,‎ through,‎ the,‎ woods.
  2. (idiomatic, figuratively) Trying to achieve a particular task, often with difficulty.
  3. (idiomatic, figuratively) To be lost.
    1. (idiomatic, figuratively) To lose one's mind.