beat around the bush 和 beat about the bush 是“拐弯抹角”，“旁敲侧击” 或 “说话绕圈子”的意思。beat是“拍打”，bush是“灌木丛”，around 和 about 都是“四周”的意思。据说从前英国贵族打猎时，会先派人进树林，用树枝敲打树，好让鸟类或小动物因受惊吓而跑出。后来 beat around the bush 演变成“拐弯抹角”、“旁敲侧击”或“说话绕圈子”等意。
English Club 给出的注释是：If you beat around the bush, or beat about the bush, you don't say something directly, usually because you don't want to upset the person you're talking to.
1）I had trouble telling Pedro he'd lost his job. I started beating around the bush and talking about one door closing and another door opening.
2）Stop beating about the bush. Just tell me what has happened.