Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to Square One , Beat around/about the Bush

Back to Square One

Our design for a solar-powered washing machine didn’t work, soit’s back to square one.

Meaning: return to the beginning because of a failure to accomplish the desired result.
Origin: There are many board and street games that have squares or boxes. Each player must start at the first square and try to advance to the finish line or last box to win. If, for any reason, you have to go back to square one, you’re starting over from the beginning. A similar
saying is “back to the drawing board”, where architects begin blueprints or sketches for each project. When a project fails to work out, you may have to start over again from the original drawings to improve your chances for success.

Beat around/about the Bush

“Stop beating about the bush. What exactly are you doing now?”

Meaning: to avoid answering a question; to approach something carefully or in a roundabout way.
Origin: This expression goes all the way back to the 1500s when hunters hired people called beaters to drive small animals out of the bushes so the hunters could get a better shot at them. The problem for the beaters was that they might drive the birds or rabbits or foxes out
too soon. They had to be careful not to drive the animals into the open before the hunters arrived. So the beaters might use their long sticks “around the bush” rather than directly on it. Today, the expression “to beat around the bush” means talking about things in a roundabout way without giving clear answers or coming to the point.

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