lead (one) down the garden path(redirected from lead them down the garden path)
lead (one) down the garden path
To mislead or deceive one. Don't lead me down the garden path—tell me what is really going on here.
lead someone down the garden pathand lead someone up the garden path
to deceive someone. Now, be honest with me. Don't lead me down the garden path. That cheater really led her up the garden path.
lead down the garden path
Also, lead up the garden path. Deceive someone. For example, Bill had quite different ideas from Tom about their new investment strategy; he was leading him down the garden path . This expression presumably alludes to the garden path as an intentional detour. [Early 1900s] Also see lead on.
lead down garden path
Deceive. The path to which the phrase refers meant an intentional detour, so to escort someone down it was to mislead a person who relied on your honesty.