beat around the bush

beat around the bush

also beat about the bush

Meaning

  • avoid talking about the main topic
  • not speaking directly or precisely
  • avoid the important point
  • approach indirectly
  • in a roundabout way, or too cautiously
  • speak in a roundabout, indirect or misleading way

Example Sentences

  1. Will you please stop beating about the bush and get to the point?
  2. When I asked George whether he knew who had taken the files from my desk, he started beating around the bush and refused to give me a direct answer.
  3. Don’t beat around the bush and tell me frankly what you think of my proposition.
  4. I know this discussion is an uncomfortable one, but instead of beating about the bush, let’s come to the point and get over with it.
  5. Quit beating around the bush and tell me what you really want.
  6. You will have to learn to speak clearly about what you want. You won’t get anywhere if you keep beating around the bush.
  7. Why can’t you get straight to the point instead of beating around the bush?

Origin
The origin of this phrase lies in medieval hunting. During bird hunts, some participants would rouse the birds by beating the bushes so that the others could hunt them. The phrase is a very old and the first written reference is from a medieval poem “Generydes – A Romance in Seven-line Stanzas” in 1440, which mentions “beat the bush”. The earliest version which has “about” in it is found in “Works” by George Gascoigne in 1572. The UK version of the phrase is “beat about the bush”, while the American version is “beat around the bush” and is newer and more popular today.

B 6 Comments

6 Comments

AuthorAnonymous writes on 30th November 2017

It’s is a very good website it is helping me a lot. I like this very much. It has so many examples and meaning of phrases. There is a good way to learn idioms and phrases.

Thank you.

AuthorImaad writes on 6th November 2017

Brilliant website! Helped me a lot in my homework and exams.
Keep it up! :)

AuthorChrysoula writes on 31st October 2017

Very good examples which show the concept of the phrase. Thank you

AuthorLaila writes on 30th October 2017

Really good examples of sentences.

AuthorFarhad writes on 22nd October 2017

Thanks sir

AuthorKatie writes on 27th July 2017

I was finding it everywhere and it is quite good and the words are Okay.

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