The idiom “Don’t Even Go There” is used to warn someone against pursuing a certain line of thought, topic, or action. It signals that the subject in question is off-limits or too sensitive to discuss.
This idiom is often employed when someone is on the verge of broaching a topic that is considered inappropriate, uncomfortable, or controversial.
For example, if someone is about to bring up a painful or embarrassing past event, they might be cautioned, “Don’t even go there.”
Don’t Even Go There Idiom Origins
The origin of this idiom is relatively modern compared to many others, with its usage becoming popular only in the 1990s, as demonstrated in the below graph:
This growth is largely attributed to American slang and is reflective of the informal and direct communication style prevalent in modern times.
Here’s a brief overview of its origin:
- Modern Slang: The phrase “Don’t Even Go There” is a product of modern colloquial language, particularly in American English. It emerged as a way to succinctly and firmly shut down unwanted discussions or inquiries.
- Cultural Influence: The rise of this idiom can be attributed to its frequent use in movies, television shows, and popular media during the 1990s and early 2000s, which helped cement its place in everyday language.
Today, the phrase “Don’t Even Go There” continues to be widely used as a way to prevent someone from discussing or delving into sensitive or taboo subjects.
15 Examples in a Sentence
- “When he tried to bring up her ex-boyfriend, she snapped, ‘Don’t even go there!’”
- “I know what you’re thinking, but don’t even go there – it’s not happening.”
- “If you’re suggesting I had anything to do with the mistake, don’t even go there.”
- “Don’t even go there with those accusations; you have no proof.”
- “She looked at me and said, ‘Don’t even go there,’ when I mentioned the rumor.”
- “I could see the smirk on his face and immediately told him, ‘Don’t even go there.’”
- “When asked about the incident, he simply replied, ‘Don’t even go there.’”
- “Don’t even go there – I’m not discussing my personal life with you.”
- “If you’re thinking of blaming me, don’t even go there.”
- “She warned him, ‘Don’t even go there,’ when he tried to criticize her choices.”
- “I know you want to ask about my past, but don’t even go there.”
- “Don’t even go there with your assumptions; you’re completely wrong.”
- “When he hinted at the scandal, the politician firmly said, ‘Don’t even go there.’”
- “If you’re going to bring up that old argument, don’t even go there.”
- “She raised her hand and said, ‘Don’t even go there,’ stopping him mid-sentence.”
Definition: Not to be entered or used; prohibited.
In a Sentence: “Discussing his divorce is off-limits.”
Definition: Prohibited or restricted by social custom.
In a Sentence: “Talking about salaries is often considered taboo.”
3. Touchy subject
Definition: A topic that makes someone upset or angry.
In a Sentence: “Don’t bring up politics; it’s a touchy subject.”
4. Let sleeping dogs lie
Definition: To avoid bringing up old problems or issues.
In a Sentence: “I decided to let sleeping dogs lie and not mention the argument.”
5. Open a can of worms
Definition: To create a complicated situation.
In a Sentence: “Bringing up that issue will only open a can of worms.”
6. Pandora’s box
Definition: A source of extensive but unforeseen troubles or problems.
In a Sentence: “Questioning the decision could open Pandora’s box.”
7. Stir the pot
Definition: To cause unrest or discord.
In a Sentence: “He just likes to stir the pot by bringing up controversial topics.”
8. Tread on thin ice
Definition: To be in a risky or precarious situation.
In a Sentence: “By asking about her past, you’re treading on thin ice.”
9. Walk on eggshells
Definition: To be extremely cautious about one’s words or actions.
In a Sentence: “I feel like I have to walk on eggshells around him.”
10. Cross the line
Definition: To overstep boundaries or limits.
In a Sentence: “By prying into my personal life, you’re crossing the line.”
11. Ruffle feathers
Definition: To irritate or annoy someone.
In a Sentence: “Your comments are likely to ruffle feathers.”
12. Rock the boat
Definition: To disturb a situation or the status quo.
In a Sentence: “I don’t want to rock the boat, so I won’t mention it.”
13. Push one’s buttons
Definition: To deliberately do something to make someone angry or upset.
In a Sentence: “She knows how to push his buttons by bringing up old disputes.”
14. Open old wounds
Definition: To revive painful memories or feelings.
In a Sentence: “Don’t even go there; it will just open old wounds.”
15. Hit a nerve
Definition: To upset someone by mentioning a sensitive topic.
In a Sentence: “Your remark clearly hit a nerve, judging by his reaction.”