Back to the drawing board

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Back to the drawing board is a phrase that originated during World War II. We will examine the meaning of the expression back to the drawing board, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Back to the drawing board is an exhortation that is used when an idea or endeavor fails, and one must begin again. When one goes back to the drawing board, he starts fresh with a new design, idea or plan in order to accomplish something. The term back to the drawing board is an allusion to the act of working out the details of a blueprint on a drawing board, the assumption is that one is going back to the design phase in order to fix a problem. The phrase back to the drawing board first appeared in a cartoon that appeared in New Yorker magazine, drawn by Peter Arno and depicting a military plane crash with a designer running toward with wreck carrying a roll of blueprints, with the caption: “Well, back to the old drawing board.”


The General Assembly needs to send the EOC back to the drawing board to fix its horrendous accountability plan. (The State)

Bosses at Oswestry’s British Ironwork Centre say they will have to go back to the drawing board after being advised to withdraw a planning application for their site. (The Shropshire Star)

It’s back to the drawing board for ailing 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic with his immediate playing future uncertain after an injury-ravaged exit from the Australian Open. (The Hindu)

Some organizations that presented to our committee were requested to “go back to the drawing board” and come back with better measures, better cost saving efforts and better measureable outcomes. (The St. George Spectrum)


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