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Related to bushes: Shrubs

beat the bushes (for someone or something)

To search for someone or something exhaustively and at great length. I've been beating the bushes for a bigger apartment, but there's nothing out there I can afford!
See also: beat, bush

beggar's bush

Ruin or devastation. Unless you want to end up at beggar's bush, you better watch how much money you're spending.
See also: bush

good wine needs no bush

An item of good quality needs no advertisement. Establishments like inns and pubs used to hang ivy and flowers to tell travelers that wine was available inside. The product I've invented is so excellent that it needs no ad campaign, just as good wine needs no bush.
See also: bush, good, needs, wine

like an owl in an ivy bush

With a vacant stare, often due to drunkenness. Ivy bushes were thought to be enjoyed by both owls and Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. Whenever Rob drinks, he eventually looks like an owl in an ivy bush, gazing off into the distance at nothing.
See also: bush, ivy, like, owl

beat around the bush

 and beat about the bush
Fig. to avoid answering a question; to stall; to waste time. Stop beating around the bush and answer my question. Let's stop beating about the bush and discuss this matter.
See also: around, beat, bush

bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

Prov. Having something for certain is better than the possibility of getting something better. I might get a better offer, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Bill has offered to buy my car for $3,000 cash. Someone else might pay more, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
See also: bird, bush, hand, two, worth

bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

Fig. awake and alert. (Often used ironically, as in the first example. The idea is that one is like a frisky animal, such as a squirrel.) Jill: Hi, Jane! How are you on this beautiful morning? Jane: Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, just as you might expect, since I've only had three hours of sleep. Despite the early hour, Dennis was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
See also: and

bush out

[for a plant, bush, beard, head of hair] to develop many small branches or hairs. His beard bushed out and really needed trimming. I hope the hedge bushes out nicely this year.
See also: bush, out

beat around the bush

to avoid talking about what is important Quit beating around the bush and tell me what you really think about my idea.
See also: around, beat, bush

beat the bushes

to search everywhere for someone or something We don't have to beat the bushes to get good photographs - they mostly come to us from photographers we know.
Etymology: based on the practice in hunting of having someone hit bushes with a stick in order to force birds hiding in them to fly up into the air to be shot
See also: beat, bush

beat about/around the bush

to avoid talking about a difficult or embarrassing subject because you are worried about upsetting the person you are talking to (usually negative) Don't beat around the bush. Just tell me where my brother is. There is no point in beating about the bush. I'm leaving you.
See also: beat, bush

beat the bushes

to try very hard to get or achieve something She's not out there beating the bushes for a job - she's just as happy not working.
See also: beat, bush

bush league

  (American informal)
not done to the usual or accepted standards His article was a bush league stunt to discredit the company, and he has apologized.
See also: bush, league

the bush telegraph

  (British & Australian)
the way in which people quickly pass important information to other people, especially by talking News of the redundancies spread immediately on the bush telegraph.
See beat about the bush
See also: bush, telegraph

beat around the bush

Also, beat about the bush. Approach indirectly, in a roundabout way, or too cautiously. For example, Stop beating around the bush-get to the point. This term, first recorded in 1572, originally may have alluded to beating the bushes for game.
See also: around, beat, bush

beat the bushes for

Look everywhere for something or someone, as in I've been beating the bushes for a substitute but haven't had any luck. This term originally alluded to hunting, when beaters were hired to flush birds out of the brush. [1400s] Also see beat around the bush.
See also: beat, bush

bird in the hand

A benefit available now is more valuable than some possibly larger future benefit. For example, Bob thinks he might do better in a bigger firm, but his wife insists he should stay, saying a bird in the hand . This expression, which in full is A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, was an ancient Greek proverb. It was well known in English by about 1400 and has been repeated so frequently that it is often shortened.
See also: bird, hand

bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

Eager and alert, as in Here is my new kindergarten class, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The allusion here is to the appearance of a squirrel, which with its beady eyes and bushy tail looks ready for anything. [1930s]
See also: and

bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

mod. alert and ready to do something; as alert and as active as a squirrel. You look all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning.
See also: and


1. n. the pubic hair. (Usually objectionable.) How old were you when you started growing a bush?
2. n. a woman considered as a receptacle for the penis. (Rude and derogatory.) Bubba says he gotta have some bush.

bush bitch

and bush pig
n. an ugly or unpleasant female. (Derogatory.) Tom’s been dating some bush pig from Adamsville. Shut your shitty mouth, you skanky bush bitch!
See also: bitch, bush

bush pig

See also: bush, pig

bush patrol

1. n. a session of necking and petting. (Here patrol has the military meaning of assignment.) Martha and Paul spent the evening on bush patrol.
2. n. an imaginary search through campus shrubbery to flush out the necking couples. Bush patrol starts at midnight, so be in by then.
See also: bush, patrol

mifky-pifky (in the bushes)

n. illicit sex; hanky-panky. Jeff got caught again. Mifky-pifky in the bushes seems to be his style.
See also: bush

beat the bushes

To make an exhaustive search.
See also: beat, bush

beat around the bush

To speak evasively or misleadingly, or to stall or waste time. To flush pheasants and other birds so they could be shot, British gamekeepers hired beaters who would swing sticks at likely places where the birds might be lurking. Not to go directly to such foliage but to work around it instead gave the impression of wasting time or not trying very hard to raise the birds; hence, beating around the bush.
See also: around, beat, bush

bush league

Anything amateurish or otherwise below professional caliber. Baseball teams have been divided into two broad categories. Major league teams, also known as the big leagues, have the most professional players who play in state-of-the-art stadiums. Then there are minor league teams, composed of players on their way up or down the baseball ladder and ballparks that range in quality from almost-major league to close-to-sandlot. The latter fields, especially those in rural areas, weren't always enclosed by fences; instead they had shrubbery around their perimeters. Hence the phrase “bush league,” where the level of play was far from major league ability. The expression quickly spread to any endeavor that was less than expertly done.
See also: bush, league
References in classic literature ?
said he, bursting out of the bushes and seizing the stranger's weapon.
I pushed through a tangle of tall white-flowered bushes, and saw him twenty paces beyond, looking over his shoulder at me and hesitating.
Then there was a desolate space covered with a white sand, and then another expanse of tangled bushes.
It was some time before I could summon resolution to go down through the trees and bushes upon the flank of the headland to the beach.
How did I know that he was not lurking in the nearest clump of bushes, waiting for my reappearance?
I shall order you destroyed in a few minutes, so you will have no need to ruin our pretty melon vines and berry bushes.
Once the bushes moved almost imperceptibly and an instant later one of the officers, without warning, fired into them; but Tarzan of the Apes was not there.
The grey cub would have died, and there would have been no story to write about him, had not the she-wolf come bounding through the bushes.
The bushes were now quiet and the sounds had ceased, but Morgan was as attentive to the place as before.
At last he decided there was no danger; but just as he prepared to part the bushes and bend down to the water, a movement among the opposite bushes caught his eye.
Again there was an agitation of the bushes, and then, so suddenly that it almost startled a cry from him, the bushes parted and a face peered out.
Then arm and bottle and ginger beard disappeared behind the closing bushes.
To the left of us there was the long uninterrupted shoal, and to the right a high, steep bank heavily overgrown with bushes.
We tore slowly along the overhanging bushes in a whirl of broken twigs and flying leaves.
I took the Doctor to the place, in order to see whether his skill might not come in use; and our friend, the bee- hunter, being in company, was knowing to the fact that the bushes held the body.