cul-de-sac = die Sackgasse cul-de-sac (fig.) = die Pattsituation, eine auswegslose Situation (woerterbuch.info) --- GOOGLE INDEX cul-de-sac: approximately 325,000 hits
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is on a quiet CUL-DE-SAC, on a 26x128-foot landscaped lot with raised flowerbeds…
(The National Post, Canada)
For the main act the 45-year-old drove into a CUL-DE-SAC and smashed into a Volkswagen Polo belonging to the mother of England rugby star Ollie Barkley…
cul-de-sac (sometimes written without hyphens, although most dictionary entries include them)
- a dead-end street
- an impasse (fig.)
- a saclike cavity or tube open only at one end (anatomy)
(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Cul-de-sac (1738) is borrowed from the French cul-de-sac and literally means "bottom of a sack." It stems from the Latin "culus" (bottom) and "saccus" (sack).
Cul-de-sac usually refers to a road that is blocked at one end. A cul-de-sac in a residential area is often circular shaped and lined with houses. A house in a cul-de-sac is desirable because there is generally less vehicular traffic. Real estate advertisements frequently list such houses as being "located in a quiet cul-de-sac."
Cul-de-sac is also a medical term for a blind sack or tube that is open on one end. In this context, "blind" means that the sack does not lead anywhere else in the body. The cecum, an example of an anatomical cul-de-sac, is the first part of the colon, to which the appendix is attached. The word "cecum" is from the Latin "caecus" meaning "blind" since the bottom of the cecum is a blind pouch or a cul-de-sac that leads nowhere. (Webster's Medical Dictionary)
Cul-de-sac is also applied in a figurative sense to describe a situation that appears to lack any progress, or as we like to say is a "dead end." For instance:
In an attack on Michael Howard's leadership, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former foreign secretary, accused the Tory party of being in an "electoral cul-de-sac." (BBC News)
This was a long-term investment because we couldn’t afford to find ourselves in a "technological cul-de-sac." (from a technology company customer success story)
Mexican standoff, blind alley, box, catch 22, cessation, corner, dead end, deadlock, dilemma, fix, gridlock, hole, jam, mire, morass, pause, pickle, plight, pocket, predicament, quandary, rest, scrape, stalemate, standoff, standstill
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say something like:
"This discussion is heading into a cul-de-sac,… let’s change the subject"
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