I personally find the term "beat around the bush weird", where did it originate from?

  • I have not heard this with "build" in place of "beat". – GEdgar Oct 2 '13 at 13:15
  • Sorry it was a typo – CreativeWriting Oct 2 '13 at 13:20

Beaters are servants employed to flush out game birds to be shot. There's an early example cited here http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/beat-around-the-bush.html

"He bet about the bush, whyles other caught the birds." (George Gascoigne's Works, 1572)

  • So 'beating around the bush' had a purpose to it. How did it come to mean avoid coming to the point? – user49727 Oct 2 '13 at 13:23

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.