Go by the board


      • be forgotten or abandoned
        To be disregarded or ignored, usually due to changing circumstances or priorities. Often used in the context of plans or ideas that were previously considered important or relevant.

      • be destroyed or lost
        To be ruined or lost, often due to a difficult or unfortunate situation that cannot be overcome. Can also refer to physical objects or structures being destroyed or lost.

    Examples of Go by the board

    • The construction project has gone by the board due to lack of funding.

      In this example, "go by the board" means that the construction project has been abandoned or put aside because of insufficient funding. The expression "by the board" refers to something being neglected, ignored, or forgotten about. In this context, it can be interpreted as the project falling off the radar and being discontinued.

    • After the meeting ended, the proposed idea went by the board.

      Here, "go by the board" signifies that the suggested concept was not approved, considered, or acted upon during the meeting. The phrase "by the board" suggests that the idea was not discussed, decided upon, or carried out by the decision-making body (i.e., the board). As a result, the idea was essentially put aside or rejected.

    • The game plan has gone by the board and we're improvising now.

      This example conveys that the original strategy for the game or activity has been discarded due to unexpected circumstances or changes. The expression "go by the board" implies that the predetermined plan was abandoned or thrown out, which necessitates a new approach or improvisation.

    • The project went by the board, but we're still working on it.

      While this instance might appear contradictory, it can nevertheless be true. In reality, the project may have been put on hold or postponed, but the team is still actively working on it, with the intention of continuing it at a later time or restarting it. The phrase "go by the board" denotes that the project lost its momentum and yesterday's board status, but it's not necessarily finished or scrapped completely.

    • The project team decided to go by the board with the original proposals and start fresh with new ideas.

      In this example, "go by the board" means to follow the original plans or proposals strictly, without making any changes or modifications. The decision to start fresh with new ideas is a departure from the strict adherence to the original proposals, implying that the original plans were no longer feasible or relevant.

    • The chef suggested a few modifications to the menu, but the restaurant owner insisted on going by the board with the existing menu.

      In this example, "go by the board" implies following the existing menu without making any alterations or changes, despite suggestions for improvements. The idiom suggests that the restaurant owner is being inflexible and unwilling to adapt to the changing preferences of customers.

    • The crew followed the captain's orders strictly, going by the board with the navigational charts and instruments.

      In this example, "go by the board" implies following the navigational charts and instruments precisely, without deviating from the course or direction. The idiom emphasizes the importance of adhering to the rules and procedures to ensure a safe and successful voyage.

    • The company's marketing strategy was going by the board, resulting in a decline in sales and profits.

      In this example, "go by the board" implies following the marketing strategy rigidly without making any adjustments or iterations. The idiom suggests that the strategy might have become outdated or ineffective, resulting in a decline in sales and profits. This is a warning for companies to be flexible and adaptive to changes in the market and consumer preferences.


    The idiom "go by the board" can have two main meanings. The first is to be forgotten or abandoned, usually in the context of plans or ideas that were previously considered important. The second is to be destroyed or lost, often in a difficult or unfortunate situation.

    In both cases, the idiom conveys a sense of something being discarded or disregarded, whether it be a plan or an object. It also implies a sense of disappointment or frustration, as something that was once valued or significant is now disregarded or destroyed.

    Origin of "Go by the board"

    The origin of the idiom "go by the board" is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated from nautical terminology. In sailing, the "board" refers to the side of a ship. When something falls or is pushed overboard, it is said to "go by the board."

    Over time, the idiom evolved to also refer to ideas or plans being "thrown overboard" or abandoned. It is likely that the phrase originated in the British Royal Navy and then spread to common usage.

    In modern times, the idiom is still commonly used to convey the idea of something being disregarded or destroyed. It is often used in informal or colloquial language, and may not be understood by non-native speakers or those unfamiliar with nautical terminology.