Is there any idiom or expression for this: To make a conversation and talk about many different and irrelevant subjects, keep changing the topics frequently and so. Thanks

closed as off-topic by NVZ, jimm101, user66974, Mitch, MetaEd Mar 30 '16 at 17:33

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • There are various single words, such as babble and prattle. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 29 '16 at 21:59

Such a conversation can be called "small talk." People can "make small talk" or, less common, "engage in small talk." The canonical small-talk topic is the weather, but the performance of sports teams, health and activities of family, and a wide variety of other generally inconsequential topics might come up in such a conversation.

"Small talk" is distinguished from @surlawda's family of suggestions in that his suggest actively avoiding one or more specific consequential topics, whereas small talk is more about generally keeping the topics light, so as to enjoy conversing. Small talk is for passing time without risking conflict or deep engagement.

  • chit chat

    friendly conversation about things that are not very important

    Some of the online dictionaries list it as a single word (chitchat) or possibly a hyphenated word (chit-chat).

  • idle chat

    Meaningless talking ..., filling the silence or occupying time while waiting.

    or idle talk

    idle or foolish and irrelevant talk

    or idle conversation.


go/fly off on tangents

go off on a tangent

: to suddenly start talking about a different subject We were talking about property prices and you went off on a tangent.

Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed.

flit from one topic to another; also jump from one subject to another

Google Books


: to fly or move swiftly, lightly, or irregularly from one place or thing to another.

Random-House Kennerman Webster's Dictionary

be all over the place

"All over the place” is a saying that usually means someone or something is scattered, disorganized, or confusing [...]

Sometimes the saying is used figuratively, making it an idiomatic expression. A person can say, “She was ill prepared for the speech. Her thoughts were all over the place.” Obviously, thoughts are not objects to be touched or thrown about, but in this case the woman’s thoughts were scattered or disorganized. She might have begun the speech by talking about elephants and then accidentally ended up talking about body lotions.


ride (madly) off in all directions

Fig. To behave in a totally confused manner; to try to do everything at once.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs


This sounds like shooting the breeze:

Fig. to chat casually and without purpose. We spent the entire afternoon just shooting the breeze. It was good to shoot the breeze with you, Mary. - The Free Dictionary

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