go round 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, house

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: house, round

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: house, round
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.
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.
You can go round the houses talking about the way we played.
It is now nearly five months since the one way restrictions were put in place and residents have had to go round the houses to access their properties.