Dieser Ausdruck bezieht sich wohl ursprünglich auf den Weg eines Pfeils (oder einer Pistolenkugel) und beschreibt eine überaus umständliche und umwegige Vorgehensweise. Gibt es etwas adäquates auf englisch?

  • Nicht sehr vielversprechend :-( : dict.leo.org/forum/… Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 17:18
  • @πάνταῥεῖ Ja, da war ich auch schon.
    – Walter
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 17:21
  • Ich glaube es gibt keine adequate Übersetzung, am Nächsten kommt wohl noch: "to put the cart before the horse" Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 17:25
  • @πάνταῥεῖ okay. Danke. (nicht "in front of" statt "before"?)
    – Walter
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 17:26
  • 2
    @πάνταῥεῖ, Walter explains the meaning of the phrase, it can also be explained to people who do not know German. No knowledge of German is needed to answer this question.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 22:37

2 Answers 2


There are some expressions, mostly from the southern U.S. it seems, that have something to do with one's elbow:

Going around your elbow to get to your ear

Source: Expressions I didn’t realize were crazy until I moved away from the South

I had to go around my elbow to get to my thumb

Source: “I had to go around my elbow to get to my thumb”—technology sucks

Going around your ass to get to your elbow

Source: 20 Southern Sayings And The Meanings

There are probably more variations of it, but from what I can tell the elbow plays a role in most or all of them.

  • I've heard the elbow-thumb idiom as well.
    – tofro
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 17:50

Apart from the (rather lame) translation

he did something in a roundabout fashion

I have heard

he did it butt-backwards (or, more hefty: ass-backwards)

which is somehow close to the German expression

  • There is no ass vor butt in the German expression.
    – Walter
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 19:35

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