off on a sidetrack
(off) on a sidetrack
1. Addressing a topic or topics not relevant to the main discussion. I tried to address the customer's problem, but she kept going off on a sidetrack and I couldn't understand what her actual complaint was. In the middle of our conversation about my finances, my advisor went on a sidetrack about current events. All of a sudden, in the middle of dinner, Tom started going off on a sidetrack about his time in Peru.
2. Branching off into some entirely different field, profession, or pursuit. I actually studied and trained as a pianist before going off on a side track into metallurgy. Our company was originally focused on developing new, original games for modern hardware, but about 10 years ago we went on a sidetrack and just kind of became a full-time porting company for other studios. Wow, it's so rare to meet a trained ballerina who went off on a sidetrack and became a nuclear physicist!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*off on a sidetrack
Fig. on a digression; discussing a topic that is not the main topic. (Alludes to a train waiting on a siding. *Typically: be ~; get ~; get someone~.) Anne got off on a sidetrack and never returned to her topic. The ineffective committee got off on one sidetrack after another.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.