If someone is “beating around the bush” it means that they are avoiding a certain (or the main) topic of conversation. Often this is a topic that they are supposed to be talking about. This idiom has it`s roots in the British tradition of bird hunting where there would be some people walking around with sticks and beating the bushes to make the birds fly so that the lord could shoot the bird.

In most cases, someone is “beating around the bush” in order to avoid a difficult conversation or to avoid getting in trouble.

Mom – “Hey Sarah, did you finish your homework?”

Sarah – “My homework? Well, you remember that I told you this week is tryouts for the soccer team? I`ve decided I’m going to try out! I have always really liked soccer, and my friend Julia, you remember Julia, is on the team and..”

Mom – “Stop beating around the bush Sarah, is your homework done or not???

皆さんこんにちは。今回の言い回しは、”beat around the bush” 遠回しに探る、要点に触れない、という意味です。

ポイントはaround 。やぶを直接叩き、獲物が動きだした所で狩る手法がありますが、周辺を叩いているのでは、いつまでも得たい獲物=要点は得られません。遠まわしにその話題を避けたい時、言いにくい事から避けたい時など、本題から避ようと相手がしている時にも良く使われる表現の一つですので、覚えておきましょう!