I watched a movie and heard the following sentence:

Skeeter: I parked way up on State Street and caught a cab here, like you asked.

Aibileen : Got dropped two streets over?

If there is a situation like the below picture illustrates (A,B,C,D,E are the streets) - in the phrase 'two streets over', what is the exact meaning of 'over'?

enter image description here

Is the meaning that Skeeter got out of the taxi on A street or E street? I am wondering what is the context of 'over'? Could between, before or passing, replace the word 'over'?

  • 5
    Two streets over = at a distance of two streets from some street. It's not about near or far, exactly: If the streets are A, B, C, D and E, and I am on A street, two streets over is: C street.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 12:29
  • 2
    Two streets up/down, two streets north/south/west/east, two streets in/out (e.g. two streets in from the library), and two streets above/below (e.g. two streets above 14th Street) are just a few other common formulations.
    – choster
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 14:07
  • 7
    In case it's not clear from the otherwise excellent answer, in this context, "over" is a synonym of "away". "Two streets over" just means "two streets away". Commented May 31, 2018 at 15:39

5 Answers 5


Some urban areas have streets arranged in a regular grid pattern. If a person is in one street, the next parallel street in one direction can be said to be 'one street over' in that direction. It is not clear in your quoted text whether A or E street is the intended meaning. In the image below, A Street and E Street are both 'two streets over' from C Street.

enter image description here

It is worth mentioning that in some cities, grid-pattern roads are named according to some convention, e.g. in a part of New York City, those running north-south (approximately) are called 'avenues' and those running east-west are called 'streets'. One location or road in New York City can be one or more streets or avenues over from another.

  • 8
    There are many cities that do not have a strict grid pattern, only a loose one. I live in a town like that. So, if side streets give onto a winding larger street, you can still talk about two streets over...
    – Lambie
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 13:56
  • 3
    @Lambie Probably no city has a perfect grid pattern, but the streets must be at least somewhat regularly spaced for two streets over (or two blocks over) to be of any use. This is the old joke for giving directions on country highways. Make a left at the second light, except that the distance between the first and second lights is twenty miles.
    – choster
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 14:16
  • @choster I never said anything different.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 14:37
  • The portion of New York City that actually has the grid you describe is restricted solely to Manhattan north of Houston St. (and even then, on the West Side the grid doesn’t really take on any regularity until 14th St.). You could reasonably claim Manhattan “(approximately)” has that grid, since that is most of the island, but the rest of the city has nothing of the sort (and can get quite screwy: my in-laws’ neighborhood in Queens is made up of a whole bunch of streets with the same number, with St, Pl, and Ln crossing Ave, Rd, Dr, and Ct).
    – KRyan
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 18:35
  • 2
    They definitely don't have to be "regularly space", you just have to know how the context. 2 streets over may mean 100m, it may mean 1km. It's not about counted distance. It's about location distance.
    – insidesin
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 5:42

In this context, "over" can be read as "away (from somewhere)" or "far from (x)"

I went to Mark's house, which is two streets over.

At the hotel, her room was two over from mine.

Preposition definition 5 in Webster's New World Dictionary is the closest to this sense: "on or to the other side of."

Over is such a useful and fluid word that there are pages and pages of words based on it in the dictionary, from overachieve to overwrought.


"Over" is contrasted against "down".

If you're to reach your destination after proceeding past two cross-streets in the direction you're already going, that is often said to be "two streets down".

But if your destination isn't down the current street, but is located down some other street orthogonal to your current direction, you'd first have to turn down that street, and then proceed to the second cross-street. That's "two streets over".


"Over" can be used in the sense of "to the side of".

For example, in a chess game it would be valid English to say "Move the pawn. No, not that pawn, the pawn two over from the bishop". Meaning, the pawn that is two ranks, or two pawns, to the side of the bishop.

At a meeting discussing a selection of possible logos for a business: "I prefer the one three over from it", probably meaning, three icons or logos on from it, to the side, or on the display.

"The secret lever is two bricks over, three bricks up, from the mark on the wall".

"Not that desert - the desert I want is one over from it, next to the fruit salad".

Here it would mean "two corners or roads before or after", probably to the side, or with regard to the direction you arrived from. It often doesn't imply a specific direction (before/after, or left/right), except sometimes when you scan through items that are visible, like a display of pictures, its slightly more likely to imply "further on" than "back among those we already looked at"


"Over" sometimes means "at a distance" as in "over there" or "he lives over in Blanktown." Presumably the point of being dropped off two blocks away was that he could get out and make sure he wasn't being followed before walking to their meeting place.

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