Beat around the bush

Meaning:

To ‘beat around the bush‘ is to avoid the main point in a conversation. In other words, it means failing lớn get to lớn the bottom line when speaking khổng lồ others; it is similar to lớn the idiom cut lớn the chase.

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Note: It’s common for this phrase khổng lồ have ‘stop’ in front of it, like in the example below. This is basically a way of saying ‘get directly khổng lồ the point.’

Example: I’m busy right now, so if you have sầu something important khổng lồ tell me, then stop beating around the bush and spit it out already!


Synonyms / Similar Phrases:
1. Cut to lớn the chase2. Get to the point
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Hunters might ‘beat’ trees or bushes in order to lớn scare out any animals hiding within.

The Origin Of ‘Beating Around The Bush’

Where does the phrase ‘beating around the bush’ come from? It’s origin is believed lớn be from hunting. According khổng lồ Idiomation, in medieval times hunters would hire men to assist them during a hunt. Their job was to help flush out animals that were hiding in the bushes. They would accomplish this by beating, or whacking the brush with a wooden stiông xã, perhaps while adding in some loud shouting.

All the rustling & noise would scare out any birds và other animals from the cover of the brush, making them easy targets for the hunters.

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But why would they beat around the bush? Why not go directly up lớn it and beat it? Probably because of the danger factor. While the more harmless creatures—birds, rabbits, squirrels, etc.—would be driven out by the noise, so would the more dangerous ones. For example, what if a wild boar was lurking in the brush? You wouldn’t want khổng lồ mess with them; they have sharp tusks & can cause serious harm khổng lồ humans.

Thus khổng lồ avoid the threat of being seriously injured, these hired helpers might have chosen lớn keep their distance và beat around the bush instead getting closer và hitting them directly. This is similar khổng lồ how the idiom is used today—it refers khổng lồ someone who talks around their point instead of getting directly to it.

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Anyways, this expression is quite old. The earliest appearance of it in print is from a book (or poem) called Generydes: a Romance in Seven-Line Stanzas, around the year 1440:

“Some bete the bussh and some the byrdes take.”

An alternative way people say this expression is ‘beating (about) the bush.’ An early recording of the phrase with the word ‘about’ in it comes from a poem written by George Gascoigne, 1572:

“To thinke bowe he abused was, alas my heart it bleedes:

He bet about the bushe, whiles other caught the birds …”

Example Sentences for ‘Beat Around The Bush’

I asked one of my employees why he was always late for work, but instead of giving me a straight answer, all he did was beat around the bush.I don’t know why Tiffany is upset, so will you two stop beating around the bush and tell me what’s going on?

Similar Examples (in the sense of ‘getting khổng lồ the key part’):

Not wasting any time, she cut lớn the chase.Nash’s mother called him after forgetting her grocery danh sách at trang chính. He made sure to get to lớn the point, telling her exactly what she wrote down because her phone’s battery was low.

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