Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

beat (around/about) the bush

beat around the bushbeat about the bush
Meaning(s)
1) avoid addressing a subject or point directly
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • stop beating around the bush and get to the point!
  • Analysis
    This expression means to spend a long time getting to your main point, or to avoid directly talking about something, especially if the subject is awkward or unpleasant. It is usually used in a negative sense, either to express frustration at somebody or, in the case of 'I won't/don't want to beat around the bush,' to preface the delivery of bad news. It is commonly used in both a social and professional context and shares a similar meaning to the phrases 'go around the houses', 'waffle on', and 'pussyfoot around.'
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. John, you've been talking for nearly five minutes now and I still don't know what you're driving at. Stop beating around the bush and get to the point!
    2. You never know what Mary is really thinking. She will always just beat around the bush instead of saying how she really feels about something.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I don't want to beat about the bush here, so I'm just going to come out and say it - I'm afraid that we are going to have to let you go. I hope you can find employment elsewhere in the very near future.
    2. In some cultures, it is impolite to be direct so you can expect to beat around the bush before addressing the matter at hand.
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