I got a note from a fortune cookie, which says:

" Never gonna run around and desert you"

I was wondering what does "run around" means here. Similar to runaway?

4 Answers 4


To run around is an informal, almost slang-like expression similar in meaning to "fool around". To run around means when a spouse or lover is acting unfaithful and/or goes on dates with different people.

  • Also, it's a line from “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. Perhaps we've been Rick-rolled. Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 5:27
  • I thought it sounded familiar!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 5:29
  • Run around also means run around as in I ran around Chicago.
    – Noah
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 5:56
  • @Noah Yes, it can do but not in this instance. How would you explain otherwise the "...and desert you" ending?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 5:58

No. In context of couples, "run around" means to "fool around" or "be unfaithful." It also means simply to "gad about" or "travel within an area." In both cases there's an implication of a possible return to origin (to location or to romantic partner). To run away means to leave, in one direction, without an implication of returning.


The phrase 'Never gonna run around and desert you' is one of the 8 things Rick Astley would never do to you. I once cracked open a fortune cookie which said: 'A small child's testimony will send you to prison.' I explained to my date there was a mistake--a cookie from a batch intended for a Catholic priests' luncheon had somehow been delivered to the wrong address.


To "run around" means temporarily deviating from one's intended path. To "run away" means having no intention of returning. So, a person could run around an obstacle while running away from home.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.