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Is there an English idiomatic expression to indicate a place which is very far away from the speaker's location?

Something like

in the middle of nowhere

but not necessarily implying that the place is isolated, just that it is far.

EDIT: an example sentence could be

I saw a nice house for rent but it's not good for me: it's really [too far away]

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If you provide more information about what context it's being used in, perhaps with an example sentence, it might be easier to give relevant answers. – Maxpm Jun 24 '11 at 7:22
A faraway place is far away. – Jon Purdy Jun 24 '11 at 20:15
@Jon Purdy: obviously, but I was looking for an idiomatic expression. – nico Jun 25 '11 at 7:39
No no, I was just making the distinction between faraway and far away. – Jon Purdy Jun 25 '11 at 7:45
@Jon Purdy: sorry, I didn't notice :) – nico Jun 25 '11 at 7:52

10 Answers 10

up vote 2 down vote accepted


As the question changed, I will now propose a more updated answer:

In the backwoods

Backwoods meaning:

an area that is far away from any towns

Otherwise, "in the middle of nowhere" will do just as fine.

Edit: Due to the OP's desire, I would like to add an additional option, which although not idiomatic English, could be used to describe a far away place as well:

A mile and a day/Peter's place is a mile and a day away!

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Hope that one is specific enough! :) – Thursagen Jun 24 '11 at 10:34
That's a nice answer. Actually, if you could revert your edit, I liked A mile and a day even more! – nico Jun 24 '11 at 14:51
@nico: "A mile and a day" might be nice, but it's not idiomatic English. – user1579 Jun 24 '11 at 15:06

If you want to imply a populated area instead of a more rural setting, you could use clear across town. I would drop the word "really" to make your example:

I saw a nice house for rent but it's not good for me: it's clear across town.

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Neat, and it's doesn't imply isolation. Have a +1 on me. – user1579 Jun 24 '11 at 15:07

There aren't many idiomatic phrases that convey distance without also conveying, or at least hinting at, isolation. The only one I can think of that meets your requirements is "off target" or, if it's very distant, "way off target".

Less idiomatic, but frequently used (in the UK at least) is the expression "it's miles away". Often this is used to mean "it's too far" regardless of the actual distance.

Others that spring to mind that haven't been mentioned in other answers have slightly different meanings:

  • in the sticks (= in the countryside)
  • off the beaten track ( = away from main transport links / hard to travel to or find)
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Another one I might use almost as much as in the middle of nowhere is

The back of beyond.

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FYI in Australia you can say "the back of Burke" ... – Joe Blow Jun 24 '11 at 13:05

Most of the idiomatic phrases that spring to mind also have connotations of isolation (in particular both in the backwoods and the back of beyond do, despite being lovely phrases). The phrases which don't imply isolation tend to be rather more prosaic:

some way off, a way away, a fair distance

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Spot on - ALL of the other answers offered to date have connotations of isolation. – Waggers Jun 24 '11 at 15:03

In the US Northeast, we'd say "it's out in the boondocks" to mean it is far from town.

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+1 for boonies. Had no idea it was of Filipino origin, though. – Callithumpian Jun 24 '11 at 16:07
Really? I had no idea either. – Kit Z. Fox Jun 24 '11 at 16:11
"Out in the sticks" is a similar expression in British English. – scottishwildcat Jun 25 '11 at 20:35

I'm from the midwest USA and I often use Timbuktu as a synonym for the middle of nowhere.

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The generic term I would use is "remote." That has the implication of "too far for me."

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In the context of the original example: "I saw a nice house for rent but it's not good for me: it's quite a drive..."

I hear this when people are discussing daily commutes. It is probably British, and perhaps local to South-East England.

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Here are a few proposals:

  • on the edge of the world
  • on the other side of the world
  • on the far side of the world.
  • at the end of the earth
  • thousands of miles away.
  • at the other end of the planet.
  • at the ends of the earth.
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