Beat around the bush
Feb 17, 2014 | 964 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Often when we hear a long drawn-out speech we wish the speaker would hurry up and get to the point and quite “beating around the bush.” The ability of being precise and stating in plain language seems to be a lost art now days. Both in everyday conversation and former speech many keep saying, “Ah, ah, ah” continually throughout their effort to express them self. Probably all of us do at least a few “ah’s” in orally speaking. Some may do so unconsciously through habit, but probably the primary reason is a need for time to gather one’s thoughts.

Forethought on what we want to relate to others would help us in avoiding a lot of “ah’s” and continual pausing to gather our thoughts. Also, if we are enthusiastic about what we want to tell others then we’ll have little trouble in doing it. So get excited about what you want to share with others!

There are those who deliberately “beat around the bush” to delay or avoid relating something either unpleasant or otherwise might cause problems. Personally I would rather a person go ahead and relate whatever “bad news” I need to be aware of. That way I will have more time to get over the initial shock and take whatever necessary action.

The expression: “beat around the bush” as often heard here in the America and “beat about the bush” in the United Kingdom came from the literal way of flushing birds out of bushes. In an earlier period of time it was often done for the purpose of catching the birds in a net instead of shooting them. The phrase goes back to at least the 15th century. It was in the mediaeval poem: “Generydes – A Romance in Seven-line Stanzas,” 1440 A. D. Therein is the following: “Butt as it hath be sayde full long agoo,some bete the bussh and some the byrdes take.”

Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008)
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