Can someone please explain the meaning and usage of

"Turtles all the way down"

in simple words? I read Wikipedia and have some level of understanding of it but was hoping someone would make it more clear here. For instance, I would like to know if this expression is used on a day to day conversation? Is this expression understood by all native English speakers regardless of their specific knowledge of the background of the phrase?


The phrase is usually used to describe any system that appears to have dependencies that never end.

  • 1
    Do native speakers understand its meaning? Could you use this expression in a shop, at work, at a dinner, etc. and be understood? Is it an idiom? I think it's a geeky expression that your ordinary man on the street will be unfamiliar with, but that's just me guessing.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 27 '18 at 8:53
  • It is from a humorous story about the cosmology of the world. Many speakers would recognize the reference. Jun 27 '18 at 9:18

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