go round the houses

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go (all) (a)round 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? My mother never just gives me a straight answer. Instead, she always goes all round the houses with elaborate tangents and explanations.
See also: go, house
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 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
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References in periodicals archive ?
I don't like him running so quickly again after a race where he had to go round the houses to finish second.
"Why go round the houses, eh?" he asked with feigned incredulity.
"People go round the houses talking about my complaints over the training pitches and so on, which were valid.
You can go round the houses and back again on form lines making a good case for any of the leading five runners.
"I've got to go round the houses and it's rude not to eat.