In Levantine Arabic, the expression "siri miri" (سِرِّي مِرِّي) is used for someone who continually and incessantly comes and goes, or passes by, such as like near your house or just about anywhere, to the point of absurdity. It can also be used for someone who frequently leaves and returns, going back and forth.


This guy is passing by my house all the time, back and forth, nonstop. What is with this [insert idiom/term] behaviour?

This person is always going and returning. He is [insert term/expression] all the time. I wonder why.


There is NO DUPLICATION. The thread I made on the Kuwaiti Arabic idiom ("khiri miri") pertains to lack of rules, chaos and/or disorder. "Willy-nilly" seemed to be an appropriate English equivalent for it.

"Siri miri" is a Syrian expression that pertains to someone walking back & forth, or going and returning in a frequent manner. It does NOT pertain to haphazardness and disorder. Please don't be fooled by how the terms soundalike in Arabic, when they don't quite mean the same thing.

  • 2
    This seems really similar to english.stackexchange.com/questions/612333/… The most upvoted and accepted answer given was willy nilly. Sep 24, 2023 at 5:45
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    It wouldn't exactly fit in your sentences, but to and fro is an adverbial phrase referring to repeated 'coming and going' movement. "He's going to and fro past my house all the time." Sep 24, 2023 at 8:27
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    Is this behavior (to and fro) something typical of some people where you live? If so why do these people move to and from continually?
    – user 66974
    Sep 24, 2023 at 9:03
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    Does the guy come onto your property? - perhaps even enter your house unauthorised? Why does he keep passing by, and how do you come to be aware of this? Do you spend all day looking out your front window to see if any of the passers-by are repeats? I think the context is so bizarre we need much more info on what's actually going on before we can suggest idiomatic ways to refer to it in English. Sep 24, 2023 at 12:18
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    Does this answer your question? What is a term (or idiom) for someone who enters and exits without a request or order?
    – Casey
    Sep 25, 2023 at 14:50

4 Answers 4


This guy is passing by my house all the time,

This guy is toing and froing by my house all the time,

to to and fro -


As adverb:

1.a.Successively to and from some place, etc.; hence more vaguely: In opposite or different directions alternately; with alternating movement; from side to side; backwards and forwards; hither and thither; up and down.

1855 The pendulum which has been..swung to and fro, is at last about to settle. A. P. Stanley, Hist. Memorials Canterbury (1857) ii.

As verb to to and fro

VERB intransitive. To pass to and fro, to go hither and thither.

1904 Why all this secrecy about these to-ings and fro-ings? Westminster Gazette 28 November 2/2

From "The Room in the Dragon Volant (conclusion). Carmilla" By Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

I soon saw that it was a sooty-black animal that resembled a monstrous cat. It appeared to me about four or five feet long, for it measured fully the length of the hearth-rug as it passed over it; and it continued toing and froing with the lithe sinister restlessness of a beast in a cage.

  • Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks! Perfect English equivalent!
    – E.Groeg
    Sep 28, 2023 at 5:02

To and fro is a good suggestion,as is back and forth.

Here is Wiktionary: back and forth

Going from one place or position to another and back again.

The back and forth movement of the tide causes erosion of the coastline.


Comings and goings

Has the sense of "constant in and out" (as per Google's definition):

Busy, active movements of many people, especially in and out of a place.

And as well as "arriving and leaving" (as per Collins' definition):

Comings and goings refers to the way people keep arriving at and leaving a particular place.



This person is always popping in and out. I wonder why.

To pop in and out: to come and go frequently or casually; to visit for a short time, esp. without prior arrangement.

1846 He could have profited very little by his series of flying visits to all the sections which he kept popping in and out of. Times 19 September 4/2

1995 An informal arrangement opens the grandparents to conflicts with their own children, who can pop in and out of their lives. Minnesota Monthly January 130/2

(Often pop in/out) go or come for a short time, often without notice.
Concise Oxford English Dictionary

Of course with Circe living here, maybe they're all used to people popping in and out of the neighborhood.
Mel Odom; I'll Zap Manhattan (1999)

Secretaries, who had never seen an American before, found excuses to pop in and out of the office, to ask about more refreshments, to bring a new plate of cookies, or just to stare at us through the open office door.
Martin Scheffer; In Post-Communist Worlds: Living and Teaching in Estonia (2009)

The praire-dogs have all got their holes, and though you may see 'em going about popping in and out of each other's houses, I fancy as they always keep to their own. But there's one hole which they all use, and that goes down to the water.
G. A. Henty; Times of War & Peril (2019)

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