This phrase is a metaphor which originated in the shooting or netting of birds.
1992 - Barry Unsworth - Sacred Hunger - I don't want to beat about the bush. Mr. Adams is threatening to leave us.
Related Idioms and Phrases :
beat the bushes
search thoroughly – North American informal
This expression originates from the way in which hunters walkthrough undergrowth wielding long sticks which are used to force birds or animals out in to the open where they can be shot or netted.
a rapid informal spreading of information or rumor
the network through which this takes place
This expression originated in the late 19th century, referring to the network of informers who kept bushrangers informed about the movements of the police in the Australian bush or outback.
leave your usual surroundings
Bush in the sense of wild, wooded or uncleared country became current among English speakers during 19th-century British colonial expansion. In South Africa it may have been adopted directly from Dutch bosch.
hide your light under a bushel
keep quiet about your talents or accomplishments
A bushel is a unit of measurement equal to eight gallons. In former times the word also referred to a container able to hold this amount. The expression has its source in Matthew 5 : 15 : neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick.
1997 - Spectator - Actors are not naturally people who believe in hiding their light under a bushel.
the business end
the part of a tool, weapon, etc. that carries out the object's particular function – informal
1936 - Richmal Crompton Sweet - William – The business end of a geometrical compass was jabbed into Douglas's arm.
do the business
do what is required or expected
achieve the desired result – British informal
have sexual intercourse - vulgar slang
like nobody's business
in no ordinary way
to an extremely intense degree – informal
1991 - Elspeth Barker – Caledonia - They spread like nobody's business. They're a really pernicious weed.
a busman's holiday
a holiday or form of recreation that involves doing the same thing that you do at work
From the late 19th century, a popular form of working-class recreation was to take an excursion by bus.
a busted flush
someone or something that has not fulfilled expectations
a failure - US informal
In the game of poker, a busted flush is a sequence of cards of one suit that you fail to complete.
as busy as a bee
very busy or industrious
the butcher the baker the candle stick maker
people of all kinds
This phrase comes from the traditional nursery rhyme Rub-dub-dub, Three men in a tub.
have a butcher's
have a look - British informal
Butcher's comes here from butcher's hook, rhyming slang for look.