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Why do we say 'Beat about the Bush'?

Average: 3.5 (12 votes)

 

No. Not that Bush.

If someone is not clear in what they are saying and says things in an indirect manner making it difficult to understand what they mean they are 'beating about the bush'. People tend to 'beat about the bush' when trying to avoid talking about an embarrassing or difficult topic. This idiom came about through bird hunting when participants used to beat bushes to stir the birds from them while others caught them in nets. So, 'beating about the bush' was the start of the actual capture, but not the end result.

'Explain your point to me more clearly and stop beating around the bush.'

'Tell me exactly what happend and don't beat around the bush.'

Comments

Don't beat "about" or

Don't beat "about" or "around" the bush?

We don't beat about the bush

We have the same expressions in my native language "go around and near" Smug

To beat around the bush

I will remember this interesting and useful phrase. And if I wanted to raise the subject I wouldn't beat around the bush.

same question

i am a little confuse... about or around... or both?

i have the same question:

i have the same question: around or about?

around the bush

Both are ok! You can say 'around the bush' or 'about the bush'.

BrE & NAmE

Beat about the bush (BrE)
Beat around the bush (NAmE)

beating around the bush

stop beating around the bush, and tell me exactly what you feel.

I was very upset when I

This website is good. Its way of teaching is clear and direct. Teachers on this website do not beat around the bush.