Volume 3. Issue 3.
What was said? We can go about it 6 ways from Sunday, but we need to just pick an approach and go with it.
Did someone really say that? Yes, in a meeting a few months ago when we needed to just get started on the work and we were belaboring how we were going to do it.
Another example from Urban Dictionary: “There are six ways from Sunday to calculate that physics problem but only one answer.”
What does it mean? To do something thoroughly, completely and in every way imaginable.
Origin: Unfortunately there is no clear origin to this expression, and at times it is said to Sunday, from Sunday and the number can range from 2 ways to 100 ways and so on (in the movie “Silver Lining Playbook” Bradley Cooper uses “10 ways to Sunday”)… There are even tales of “beating people who didn’t go to church on time six ways to Sunday” but none of them seem to hold any water.
What we do know is that on the calendar, there are six days after Sunday, and six days before Sunday. The phrase points out the inevitability of arriving to Sunday, no matter what day is the starting point. Implying there are six different ways to Sunday illustrates that any task/problem has more than one way to approach it. To discuss a topic and use this idiom means that there are multiple options to follow to arrive at the same conclusion.
Whatever the number or preposition used, the expression “__ ways to/from Sunday” means “every possible way” or “all the ways I can think of.”
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