End Run (to do an)

Also: Make an end run around (someone)

Meaning of Idiom ‘Do an End Run’

To do an end run is to maneuver around an obstacle or authority in order to accomplish a certain goal. This idiom means much the same as to go over someone’s head.

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Often, the word around is added, as in ‘to do an end run around somebody,’ but this usage is not necessary in all cases.

Examples of Use

“When he saw the sexual harassment by his supervisor’s friend, Sam did an end run and went straight to the office head.”

“If you do an end run around me again, said Patrick’s boss, I’ll have you in the mail room.”

“Fran knew her boss would steal credit for her idea, so she did an end run around him and went straight to the CEO.”


This idiom comes from American football, where an end run refers to an offensive play in which the player with the ball runs around the end of the opposing defensive line. It has been in use since the mid-1900’s.

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