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


go all round the houses

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
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References in periodicals archive ?
Between the ages of seven to 15, I would go around the houses in the morning with a sweepstake, knocking on doors so people could pay 10 pence to predict the correct score.
Then the children would go around the houses in the neighborhood for the 'pangangaluwa.'
Access for reporters was strictly by one entrance only and you had to go around the houses to get there.
"Most of them are a mixture of customs brought by the Portuguese colonisers and indigenous traditions (such as the 'Folia de Reis',' when people dress up as the three Wise Men who visited baby Jesus and go around the houses singing and dancing).
You can go around the houses with arguments about the letter of the law all you like, but there was nothing malicious about the challenge.
When there was practice, Mom and the warden would go around the houses to make sure all lights were out.
Even some locals complain that bus journeys are too long and 'go around the houses', while train services are infrequent and, in some cases, unreliable.
"It's not as if we have planned meeting or talks which go on and on.We don't go around the houses with it.They are hurting as much as the players,staff and supporters.
Knowing they don't need to go around the houses to get the right help may encourage victims to come forward sooner.
I used to go around the houses collecting for charity and she never invited me in."
We will be discussing the comments with Traveline.': 'Go around the houses, up the street in the opposite direction of your workplace':Margaret Evitts, headteacher of Gungrog School, Welshpool, says one of her members of staff lives a four-and-a-half minute walk from the school.