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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
go round the housesor
go all round the housesBRITISH
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
go round (or all round) the houses1 take a circuitous route to your destination. 2 take an unnecessarily long time to get to the point.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017