In the sticks


      • rural or remote location
        Referring to a place that is far away from urban areas or cities

      • unsophisticated or backward
        Describing a person or place as lacking refinement or modernity

    Examples of In the sticks

    • Aunt Betty's farm is really in the sticks. It's so remote that we had to use a GPS just to find it.

      This idiom is used to describe a location that is rural, isolated, and far away from populated areas. "In the sticks" is often used to suggest that the area is quiet and peaceful, but also lacking in amenities and modern conveniences.

    • Mike's new job is in the sticks, so he's been having to commute for hours each day.

      This idiom is used to describe a place that is far away from a person's usual place of residence or work. In this context, it implies that the new job is located in a remote or rural area that requires a long commute.

    • The small town where I grew up was really in the sticks. There was only one stoplight in the entire town.

      This idiom is used to describe a small, rural town that is isolated and lacking in modern amenities. "In the sticks" suggests that the town is remote and far away from urban areas with more services and infrastructure.

    • My father-in-law's cabin is way out in the sticks. It doesn't even have running water or electricity.

      This idiom is used to describe a location that is extremely rural and lacking in basic necessities like electricity, plumbing, and paved roads. "In the sticks" here implies that the location is very remote and far away from urban amenities.

    • The small village of Cloverdale, located an hour's drive from the nearest town, is truly in the sticks.

      This idiom is used to describe a remote, rural, or isolated location that is far from the hustle and bustle of urban life. In this example, Cloverdale is located in a rural area, distant from any major town or city, and is considered to be a secluded and out-of-the-way place. The term "sticks" is believed to have originated from the sound made by a branch or twig breaking underfoot in a forest, highlighting the sense of quietness and isolation of such places.


    "In the sticks" is a versatile idiom that can be used to describe both a physical location and the people who live there. When used to refer to a location, it indicates a rural or remote area, far from the hustle and bustle of urban life. This can be used to paint a picture of a place that is peaceful and natural, but also lacking in modern conveniences. When used to describe people or their behavior, it suggests a lack of sophistication or modernity. It can be used in a lighthearted or teasing manner, but it can also carry a judgmental tone.

    Overall, "in the sticks" is a vivid and evocative idiom that can be used to create a clear image of a place or person, and to convey a sense of distance or difference from urban or modern life.

    Origin of "In the sticks"

    The origin of the idiom "in the sticks" is unclear, but it is thought to have originated in rural England. The word "sticks" has been used to refer to remote or wooded areas since the 19th century, and it is likely that the idiom evolved from this usage. The idea of being "in the sticks" may have originally referred to being lost or isolated in a forest or rural area, and over time, it came to be used more broadly to describe any remote or unsophisticated location.

    The idiom has since become popular in many English-speaking countries and is commonly used in both literal and figurative contexts. It remains a vivid and effective way to convey the idea of remoteness or lack of sophistication. Examples of the idiom can be found in literature, film, and everyday conversation, showing that it has stood the test of time as a colorful and expressive piece of language.