beat about the bush
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to beat about the bush: beat around the bush
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?
beat about the bushdiscuss 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; compare with beat the bushes below.
1992 Barry Unsworth Sacred Hunger I don't want to beat about the bush. Mr Adams is threatening to leave us.