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For most of my life I have used an expression "go around Hiram's barn" to mean an unnecessarily complicated way to do something or an unnecessarily circuitous route.

Recently my daughter informed me that the real expression is "around Robin Hood's barn", and that "around Hiram's barn" is an expression that is unique to me alone. While I will admit to sometimes making up such phrases, it seems to me that this is one that I originally heard elsewhere, perhaps from my father. I am curious: Has anyone else has ever heard the expression "go around Hiram's barn"?

I am 69 years old and grew up in Ohio. My parents and grandparents were from New York City (one grandmother was originally from England, and had some rural and some urban background).

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    A search on Google.books shows no hits for the expression, so possibly this is a part of familect. i.e. a family dialect. Quite possibly in the history of your family there was an actual Hiram and his barn. – Cascabel Jul 19 at 18:19
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    Thank you to Edwin and Cascabel for replying. I did search Google and Bing but found no references to the expression. In answer to Cascabel's questions, I am 69 years old and grew up in Ohio. My parents and grandparents were from New York City (one grandmother was originally from England, and had some rural and some urban background). I had not previously heard of familects, but that could very well be what this is. – Jeff Sutro Jul 19 at 18:35
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    Cascabel, thank you for your further input. – Jeff Sutro Jul 19 at 19:27
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    Actually..there are a number of people here who like this type of question. Nailing down an expression and its origin can be a lot of fun. I am quite sure that at this very moment there are several users looking up the expression. I also researched it, but alas, it seems your daughter is probably correct. Good luck. It can be a disconcerting moment in one's life when suddenly it is discovered that something you believed all your life is possibly not quite right. – Cascabel Jul 19 at 20:39
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    Spagirl: That is very interesting information about Hiram's Barn which was in an amusement park in Tulsa that was in existence until 1956 (I googled it). This is relevant because my family lived in Oklahoma City from 1950 to 1952, so it may have been an Oklahoma expression (or some variant on one) around that time. – Jeff Sutro Jul 19 at 22:08

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