garden path, to lead up/down the

lead someone down the garden path

 and lead someone up the garden path
to deceive someone. Now, be honest with me. Don't lead me down the garden path. That cheater really led her up the garden path.
See also: down, garden, lead, path
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

lead down the garden path

Also, lead up the garden path. Deceive someone. For example, Bill had quite different ideas from Tom about their new investment strategy; he was leading him down the garden path . This expression presumably alludes to the garden path as an intentional detour. [Early 1900s] Also see lead on.
See also: down, garden, lead, path
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

garden path, to lead up/down the

To deceive, to trick. This expression, often put simply as “up the garden,” originated early in the twentieth century and tends to suggest a romantic or seductive enticement. Often found in popular novels of the 1930s and 1940s, it is less frequently heard today. See also primrose path.
See also: down, garden, lead, up
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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