Beat around the bush

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
Can you tell me what expression(s) you use to express this idea of "not being upfront" or something the like?

Dutch: "(als een kat) om de hete brij [heen] lopen" (run around the hot mash (like a cat)), [Belgian Dutch, Flemish] "rond de pot draaien" (turn around the pot).
 
  • apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Greek:

    1- <<Κρύβομαι πίσω από το δάχτυλό μου >> [ˈkri.vɔ.me ˈpi.sɔ aˈpɔ tɔ ˈða.xtiˌlɔ mu] --> to hide behind one's finger

    2a- <<Κάνω την πάπια>> [ˈka.nɔ tiɱ ˈba.pça] --> to play the duck
    2b- <<Ποιοῦμαι τὴν νῆσσαν>> [piˈu.me tin ˈni.san] --> to play the duck
    (2a) is the MoGr variation of (2b) which is older. Despite the archaic language though, it's no more than a century old (Katharevousa Greek).
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    I guess that Spanish irse por los cerros de Úbeda (to go around Úbeda's hills) and salirse por la tangente (to exit/get out through the tangent) may also fit.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Just BTW: a rodeo? That is the same word that is used in American, I suppose, as rodere seems to mean (have meant) "turn around" - and creating a pen for the cattle thus
    Greek:

    1- <<Κρύβομαι πίσω από το δάχτυλό μου >> [ˈkri.vɔ.me ˈpi.sɔ aˈpɔ tɔ ˈða.xtiˌlɔ mu] --> to hide behind one's finger

    2a- <<Κάνω την πάπια>> [ˈka.nɔ tiɱ ˈba.pça] --> to play the duck
    2b- <<Ποιοῦμαι τὴνamp νῆσσαν>> [piˈu.me tin ˈni.san] --> to play the duck
    (2a) is the MoGr variation of (2b) which is older. Despite the archaic language though, it's no more than a century old (Katharevousa Greek).
    @apmoy: could you explain the idea behind the "hiding behind one's finger": fearing confrontation? As for the duck: what do Greek ducks typically do, I wonder?
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    I guess that Spanish irse por los cerros de Úbeda (to go around Úbeda's hills) and salirse por la tangente (to exit/get out through the tangent) may also fit.
    Go off on a tangent is what we're not supposed to do in these fora.:) Instead of staying on topic a speaker goes off in another direction and starts telling a story that has nothing to do with what he is supposed to be talking about.
    Beat around the bush is when you are hesitant to do something (or address an issue) and you not quite sure how to go about it.

    Circunflejo, do you know why this city of Úbeda conjures up detours and hesitation?
    As per Úbeda, it was a town in Andalusia. There was a legend during the reconquest of Úbeda that some of the soldiers disappeared before the battle and then reappeared when it was all over and the city had fallen. Their excuse what they went off on a path, got lost in the hills around town and couldn't find their way back. :) Sounds like a wise decision
     
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    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    The "tangent" expression is not quite the same as beating around the bush, or is it?
    No, not quite, but sometimes close if we want them to be. In the precise context of talking, "beating around the bush" is avoiding saying something you don't want to say, "going off on a tangent" is going off topic during the talk.
    She wanted to announce to her husband she was expecting but she kept beating about the bush because she had no idea what his reaction would be.
    When the professor was supposed to be talking about the history of Úbeda he went off on a tangent and told the students about all his trips to Andalusia when he was young and how he met his wife.

    But "beat around the bush" can be used in other contexts when there is no talking, like when you are hesitant about doing anything.
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I had understood well and then concluded that the second is not a real synonym, as this person is not avoiding the topic deliberately, but maybe just goes on rambling because he is that enthusiastic. No?
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    I had understood well and then concluded that the second is not a real synonym, as this person is not avoiding the topic deliberately, but maybe just goes on rambling because he is that enthusiastic. No?
    Well, I guess you could technically go on rambling because you want to avoid addressing the main issue.....:confused:
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    No, not quite, but sometimes close if we want them to be. In the precise context of talking, "beating around the bush" is avoiding saying something you don't want to say, "going off on a tangent" is going off topic during the talk.
    Then this seems more appropriate for Spanish:

    andarse con rodeos = beating around the bush
    irse por las ramas = going off on a tangent
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    As per Úbeda, it was a town in Andalusia.
    It still exist (in fact, it's an UNESCO World Heritage site), so it's a town.

    Their excuse what they went off on a path, got lost in the hills around town and couldn't find their way back.
    In order to fully understand it, I would add that the hills around Úbeda are tiny and harly anyone can get lost there.

    Beat around the bush is when you are hesitant to do something (or address an issue) and you not quite sure how to go about it.
    Thank you for the clear explanation.

    Then this seems more appropriate for Spanish:

    andarse con rodeos = beating around the bush
    irse por las ramas = going off on a tangent
    And irse por los cerros de Úbeda would be on the later group too. Although, as it has already said, going off on a tangent can be a way of beating around the bush. In order words, you are hesitant about (how to do) something and you end doing something unrelated instead.
    Dar largas might fit too but not necessarily. Dar largas means to delay a decision with any excuse, but you can delay it because you are hesitant about how to do it or, for example, because you forgot to make it but don't want to say it to the client...
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    To intentionally change the subject ("(essayer de) noyer le poisson") is not the same as "y aller par quatre chemins/tourner autour du pot" ("to beat around the bush"). "To go off on a tangent" isn't necessarily an intentional attempt to change the subject (In My Opinion).
     
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    Zareza

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    In Romanian

    a se da după cireș = to hide behind the cherry tree
    a se da după piersic = to hide behind the peach tree

    a o lua pe ocolite = to take the long way around
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    To intentionally change the subject ("(essayer de) noyer le poisson") is not the same as "y aller par quatre chemins/tourner autour du pot" ("to beat around the bush"). "To go off on a tangent" isn't necessarily an intentional attempt to change the subject (In My Opinion).
    I agree. Some people go off on tangents quite naturally and easily. It can be a personality trait. Beating around the bush too.
    Interesting. I have heard N'y pas aller par quatre chemins, (get to the point, ir al grano), which is actually the opposite of beating the bush. Noyer le poisson is pretty cruel.

    Dar largas might fit too but not necessarily. Dar largas means to delay a decision with any excuse, but you can delay it because you are hesitant about how to do it or, for example, because you forgot to make it but don't want to say it to the client...
    Dar largas might be procrastinating? Is it mean to dar largas to someone? It's intentional. Is it used like marear la perdiz?
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I am beginning to see the light: the hiding has to do with not having to face facts and people... (I am sorry, I had not associated that idea with beating around the bush)

    I suddenly wonder about detours vs. [...] around. There might be a subtle difference in the sense that the turning around sticks to the topic (remains near) whereas detours may lead people further off-topic. Of course the concept of detours might be different in various languages: see here...
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    Is it used like marear la perdiz?
    Dar largas isn't (necessarily) intentional. Marear la perdiz is intentional. Example: in a court, a lawyer trying to make the trial as long as possible with judicial appeals and any other legal ways available to make it longer can be mareando la perdiz but it's not dando largas. On the other hand, if the verdict is announced to be ready in two weeks time but a delay is announced and another one is announced for the new date and another one is announced for a new date for no clear reason (or you suspect that the reasons given aren't the real reasons), or if a delay is announced and no new date is given and every time you ask when it will be ready, you don't get a clear answer but evasives or vague answers (like soon -but they've been saying it for months-, it's almost ready -but it has been that way for a long time and never ends-...) they are dando largas.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    irse por las ramas ("to go around the branches")
    Esto es divagar = to digress. No es lo mismo que andarse con rodeos (( rodeos de rodear que puede significar ( DLE) 5. intr. Andar alrededor., to walk around something))

    -----

    I read here about 'procrastinate'. That's delay or postpone action; put off doing something. Tourner autour du pot, rond de pot draaien would rather be TO PREVARICATE' = responder con evasivas (collins)
     
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    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    Can you tell me what expression(s) you use to express this idea of "not being upfront" or something the like?

    Dutch: "(als een kat) om de hete brij [heen] lopen" (run around the hot mash (like a cat)), [Belgian Dutch, Flemish] "rond de pot draaien" (turn around the pot).
    What do you think of 'draaikonten' Literally to turn your cunt around.
    Would you ever use om de hete brij [heen] lopen, Thomas? Me no.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I know, the "hete brij" is more common in the Netherlands.... Draaikonten is more like changing opinions all the time, no? To that is different. They might have something in common in that you do not know what they really think. Don't you think?
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Dutch: "(als een kat) om de hete brij [heen] lopen" (run around the hot mash (like a cat)) ...
    German: um den heißen Brei (herum)schleichen (wie die Katze)
    Hungarian: kerülgetni a forró kását (mint a macska)
    Czech: chodit kolem horké kaše (jako kočka)
    Slovak: chodiť okolo horúcej kaše (ako mačka)

    Exactly the same meaning: to go around the hot porridge (like the cat).
     
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    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Palestinian Arabic: تلف وتدور (~ “to turn and to spin”) — basically, two synonyms that mean “to go around”
     

    Armas

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    Exactly the same meaning: to go around the hot porridge (like the cat).
    Finnish also has it: kiertää kuin kissa kuumaa puuroa.
    Kierrellä
    "to go around and around"
    Kierrellä ja kaarrella "to go around and around and move in curves", I can't find better translation
    Kautta rantain "by the shores" (avoiding straight route)
     
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