Beating around the Bush

The phrase ‘Beating around the Bush’ means to avoid answering a question; to stall; to waste time.

Example of Use: “If you want to ask me, just ask; don’t beat around the bush.”

Interesting fact

The origin of the idiom 'beating around the bush' is associated with hunting. In medieval times, hunters hired men to beat the area around bushes with sticks in order to flush out game taking cover underneath. They avoided hitting the bushes directly because this could sometimes prove dangerous; whacking a bees nest, for example, would put a swift and unwelcome end to the hunt.