beat around the bush

beat about the bush = beat around the bush

discuss a matter without coming to the point

be ineffectual and waste time

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.

bush telegraph

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.

go bush

leave your usual surroundings

run wild

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.

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