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Querfeldein in English?

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Ben calls from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to say that he and his wife, who is from Germany, were taking a leisurely stroll at Valley Forge. They ended up leaving one of the trails and taking a diagonal route across a field and agreed that in German, they were moving querfeldein, or literally “diagonally into the field.” Is there an English equivalent? The English terms desire line, desire path, or social path, which are unplanned paths formed by pedestrians who repeatedly choose that route over a planned one, such as a sidewalk, but those terms aren’t exactly comparable. The phrase as the crow flies connotes a similar idea of unimpeded movement in a straight line, but it’s still not quite the same. It’s not exactly traveling catty-corner, from one corner to the opposite one, either. It’s also something like off the beaten path or off the beaten track or the trod path, but not quite. The French also have “beaten path,” as sentiers battus, and in German, it’s Trampelpfad. Other English expressions for non-established paths include cow paths, dog runs, and deer trails. In Dutch, there’s also a term that translates as “elephant path,” and in French there’s one that translates as “donkey path.” Perhaps there’s a term from orienteering that would work? This is part of a complete episode.

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