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In Russian there’s an idiom translated loosely as ‘for a mad (crazy) dog, an extra 7 miles isn’t a big deal’ - it means ‘unnecessary effort‘, often used ironically to talk about someone whose silliness makes them put more effort than necessary. E.g. instead of choosing a shorter route a person takes a longer route because they think it’s cheaper (in case of traveling by plane). If any of that makes sense to you, can you recommend any English equivalents?

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    Welcome to English Language & Usage. I'm having difficulty understanding whether this is mad dog speaking idiomatically to the observer or the observer commenting on the mad dog. Could you perhaps put it into a dialogue, and insert where you'd like the phrase? Example: Bill: "I'm saving $100 by traveling from London to Paris through Abu Dhabi" Alex: You're ______ "
    – rajah9
    Oct 16 '20 at 12:42
  • Metaphorically, we imply that the ‘dog’ is the person. But the idiom is only used as a whole unit. E.g. Bill: “I‘m saving $100 by traveling from London to Paris through Abu Dhabi.” Alex: “For a crazy dog, an extra 7 miles isn’t a big deal, huh?”
    – Rita
    Oct 16 '20 at 13:01
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    Does this answer your question? Word or phrase for a disproportionately strong measure
    – Robusto
    Oct 16 '20 at 14:15
  • One idiomatic option is "taking the long way around"—which would be especially suitable for your "London to Paris via Abu Dhabi" example.
    – Sven Yargs
    Oct 16 '20 at 15:51
  • Thank you, Sven, I think it conveys the meaning of the original idiom quite well, only irony is lost, but there’s always something lost in translation.
    – Rita
    Oct 16 '20 at 22:16
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  • Bill: "I'm saving $100 by traveling from London to Paris through Abu Dhabi"
  • Alex: "To me, you're taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut."

From TFD

  • "To use excessive, overcomplicated, or extravagant means or force to accomplish something relatively minor or simple. If someone uses a sledgehammer to crack a nut, they use methods to solve a problem that are far more extreme than is necessary."
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  • Thank you, this idiom might be suitable as well
    – Rita
    Oct 16 '20 at 22:56
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The setup would be:

Bill: “I‘m saving $100 by traveling from London to Paris through Abu Dhabi.”

Let's try a few idioms on for size. His friend might respond:

You like to do it the hard way!

(This is an expression from the dice game of craps, where one must reproduce an earlier roll with an unusual combination. Hearer is neutral to mildly approving on Bill's action.)

You're a glutton for punishment.

(Captures the idea that the person is masochistic. Hearer is neutral to mildly disapproving of Bill's action.)

Are you overcompensating for something?

(From psychologist Alfred Adler. Source. Implies that Bill has a psychological deficit that he must compensate for. Hearer is mildly disapproving.)

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  • Thank you for your help. I personally like the second one!
    – Rita
    Oct 16 '20 at 14:05

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