Going Down The Rabbit Hole

The Meaning of ‘Going Down The Rabbit Hole’

1. When someone says they want to go “down the rabbit hole” in regard to something, that usually means there is a certain topic, activity, or thing that intrigues them. Consequently, they want to explore this topic, activity, or thing further so they can learn more about it.

Example: I saw the first ten minutes of a show called “The Life of Fluffy The Cat” and I enjoyed what little I saw of it. Now, normally I don’t watch TV shows, but with this one, I think I’m willing to go down the rabbit hole to see if I like it.

2. Starting a task or doing something that might appear simple at first, but later it leads down a path that is a lot stranger, confusing, or complex than what was initially thought.

Example: Tim’s laptop keeps restarting itself for no apparent reason, so he’s looking online for what the problem could be. At first, he thought finding a solution would only take a few minutes. However, Tim has fallen down a rabbit hole since then because he’s now spent most of his day searching for a solution.

Synonyms / Related Phrases:
Nothing.
Down The Rabbit Hole
A rabbit’s burrow. Aw, look at him! He’s so cute.

What Is a Rabbit Hole?

Literally speaking, it’s a hole that a rabbit makes in the ground. After digging them, they then live in these holes and even sleep in them. But why do they go underground? Because rabbits are the prey of many animals. Their predators include bobcats, coyotes, and foxes, just to name a few. When danger comes their way, a rabbit can oftentimes rely on its quick speed in order to escape; they are nimble creatures, after all. But living in underground burrows is another way rabbits avoid being eaten. It’s safer down there; no scary animals with sharp teeth can get in.

These burrows, or dens as they are also called, can have several entrances and exits connected to them. Additionally, if multiple rabbits are living in the same area, then it’s possible for numerous dens to be linked underground together via tunnels.

Most rabbits dig and live in burrows, but some do not. For example, the desert cottontail does not dig its own holes. Instead, they use burrows made by other animals.


The Origin of ‘Going Down The Rabbit Hole’

It’s believed that the phrase go down the rabbit hole comes from a 19th century novel called Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (or Alice In Wonderland for short). This novel was written by Lewis Carroll and was published in the year 1865.

Near the beginning of this fictional story, a girl named Alice crawls into a rabbit’s hole and shortly after, she literally falls down the rabbit hole and ends up in a strange place called Wonderland.


Examples

  • I’m looking for a new hobby, but I can’t decide on what I want to do. I thought about gardening and cooking, but I don’t think those are for me. What about music? I’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument. Yeah, you know what, I think I’m gonna go down the rabbit hole and learn how to play the violin.
  • I originally wanted to look up a recipe on how to make oatmeal cookies. However, while I was browsing through recipe sites, a link for the top 10 weirdest foods caught my eye. I clicked on it and well, now I’ve gone down a rabbit hole and I’m reading about some fruit I’ve never even heard of before.