bush

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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 (about/around) the bush

To speak vaguely or euphemistically so as to avoid talking directly about an unpleasant or sensitive topic. Don't beat around the bush—just tell me the truth. Why are you beating around the bush? Are you leaving our company? The hiker had frostbite after the freezing wind beat against his cheeks for days.
See also: beat, bush

bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

Energetic and enthusiastic. After that nap, I am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! As usual, the new interns are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed—just watching them is exhausting.
See also: and

bush league

slang Subpar or inept; lame. The phrase comes from minor league baseball, in which some teams played on unkempt fields bordered by bushes, or in rural, "bush" towns. Their operation is pretty bush league—no professionalism at all. The way you just let that forward go around you and score was bush league, dude—show some effort and play harder!
See also: bush, league

bush out

To become voluminous ("bushy") in appearance. That plant bushed out so much this year that it blocked some of my flowers from the sun. My hair is so curly that it will just bush out if I cut it short.
See also: bush, out

a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

It is better to have something less valuable than to pursue something more valuable that may not be able to be obtained. I think I'll keep my modest winnings rather than wagering them all on the next horse race. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
See also: bird, bush, hand, two, worth

the bush telegraph

Word of mouth; the grapevine. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Don't expect that to stay a secret in this office—the bush telegraph is swift around here.
See also: bush, telegraph

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

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

If someone is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, they are healthy and full of energy. But for now, go and sleep awhile. I need you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tomorrow. This will be a busy year, so you need to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to cope. Note: The comparison in this expression is to a squirrel.
See also: and

the bush telegraph

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
The bush telegraph is the way in which information or news is passed from person to person in conversation. No, you didn't tell me, but I heard it on the bush telegraph. Jean-Michel had heard of our impending arrival in Conflans long before we got there. The bush telegraph on the waterways is extremely effective. Note: This expression refers to a primitive method of communication where people scattered over a wide area beat drums to send messages to one another.
See also: bush, telegraph

not beat around the bush

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

not beat about the bush

BRITISH
If you don't beat around the bush or don't beat about the bush, you say what you want to say clearly and directly. Let's not beat about the bush. I think these letters are worth a lot to you. Note: In game shooting, beaters drive birds or small animals out of the undergrowth by beating it with sticks. They may have to do this cautiously as they do not know exactly where the birds or animals are.
See also: around, beat, bush, not

be beating the bushes

AMERICAN
If someone is beating the bushes, they are trying very hard to get or achieve something. Maybe Democratic leaders should be beating the bushes to register voters to support their nominee. He was tired of beating the bushes for work, and he did not want to ask for help or accept charity.
See also: beating, bush

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

bush

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

verb
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