lead someone up the garden path

lead someone up the garden path

BRITISH or

lead someone down the garden path

AMERICAN
If someone leads you up the garden path, they deceive you by making you believe something which is not true. He led me up the garden path. He said the relationship with Penny was over but now he seems to be seeing her again. They led me down the garden path and made me believe there would be a job for me.
See also: garden, lead, path, up

lead someone up the garden path

give someone misleading clues or signals. informal
The earliest (early 20th-century) examples of this phrase use just garden rather than garden path , which suggests that the original context was of someone enticing a person they wanted to seduce or flirt with out into a garden. A North American variant of the phrase is lead someone down the garden path .
See also: garden, lead, path, up