go (all) around the houses

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go (all) around the houses

To waste one's time and energy saying unimportant things before getting to one's point. Doc, please stop going around the houses and just tell me—how serious are Johnny's injuries?
See also: around, go, house
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

go round the houses

or

go all round the houses

BRITISH
If someone goes round the houses or goes all round the houses, they keep talking about unimportant things before they get to the thing they are meant to be talking about. After three minutes of going round the houses I had still failed to get a sense from him of whether he felt he'd done anything wrong. I really can't be bothered going all round the houses with you. This is the deal.
See also: go, house, round
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

go round (or all round) the houses

1 take a circuitous route to your destination. 2 take an unnecessarily long time to get to the point.
See also: go, house, round
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

go all round the ˈhouses

(British English, informal) do something or ask a question in a very complicated way instead of in a simple, direct way: If you want to ask her something, just ask her directly — there’s no need to go all round the houses!
See also: all, go, house, round
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
The initiative is designed to make it easier for politicians to get the information they need, without having to go all around the houses.