What Does Round and Round it Goes Mean?

Round and Round it Goes Meaning

Definition: A wheel is turning and no one knows when it will stop; a situation causes itself to repeat again and again.

People often use this for roulette wheels or other wheels used in games of chance.

Origin of Round and Round it Goes

The full expression is round and round it goes; where it stops nobody knows.

This rhyming idiom most likely became popular due to its use on a radio show called Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour, which ran in the 1930s and 1940s. It is possible that carnival workers used this expression before the show in an effort to attract people to play spinning wheel games.

Although this expression is common for wheel games, people sometimes use the first part, round and round it goes, for any situation that is repetitive.

Examples of Round and Round it Goes

define round and round it goes This example shows two college students using the idiom while discussing their problems with their parents.

Frank: I just got off the phone with my parents. I feel even more stressed now than I did before talking to them.

Karl: Yeah, me too. I was already stressed about taking my final exams, but now the pressure from my parents made me feel worse.

Frank: If my parents would support me more, I think I’d perform better academically.

Karl: Me too. Instead, my parents yell at me, and I get more stressed. Then, I do poorly on my schoolwork. My poor grades make my parents yell at me more, and the cycle starts over. Round and round it goes.

round and round we go where it stops nobody knows In this example, two friends are at the grocery store deciding what to buy to cook dinner.

Lily: I wish I could buy this chocolate, but I’m on a diet.

Grace: You shouldn’t deny yourself everything you love to eat. If you try to be too strict about your diet, you’re cravings will get so bad that you’ll give up the entire diet completely and gain even more weight. That will cause you to start a new diet, which will have the same result. Round and round it goes!

More Examples

The excerpt below the cyclical nature of college football and some of the academic problems this causes.

  • In just the case of football, “student-athletes” lost the first semester to football. Now, while the rest of the student body preps for and takes second semester finals, the schools’ football players had better show up trained and ready to compete in April and May for starting positions early next semester! Round and round it goes. –New York Post

This excerpt is about an idea for firing coaches.

  • How about putting up a spinning wheel at midfield at halftime with the stipulation that the unlucky Texans coach on whose face the needle landed would be let go on the spot? Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows. –Houston Chronicle


The saying round and round it goes is part of a rhyming expression that people use to reference game of chance that involve rotating wheels, such as Game of Fortune. They can also use it to refer to anything cyclical in nature.