you can't go home again

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the novel You Can't Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938), published posthumously in 1940.

Proverb[edit]

you can't go home again

  1. Past times which are fondly remembered are irrecoverably in the past and cannot be relived.
    • 1982 April 18, Anna Kisselgoff, “Dance: Judson Theater Remembered”, in New York Times[1], retrieved 5 November 2018:
      The organizers of a surprisingly refreshing program called "Judson Dance Theater Reconstruction" know that you can't go home again. Instead, they have tried to re-create that home if ever so briefly—even if it was a home these same young organizers never knew.
    • 2001 June 24, George J. Church, “Jobs in an Age of Insecurity”, in Time[2], retrieved 5 November 2018:
      As novelist Thomas Wolfe (1930s, not 1960s, version) declared in one of his book titles, You Can't Go Home Again—because home isn't there anymore.
    • 2009 August 12, Michael Henderson, “The Ashes: Marcus Trescothick's health is more important than England winning”, in Telegraph (UK)[3], retrieved 5 November 2018:
      The Americans have a phrase for it: you can't go home again. Once you leave, that is it. [] [H]is time has come and gone, as he confessed when he retired from Test cricket three years ago. And gone means gone.

See also[edit]