The devil was beating his wife behind the door with a shoulder of mutton a further version can be found in 1893 in inwards' weather lore : if it rains while the sun is shining the devil is beating his grandmother. This slang page is designed to explain what the meaning of beat is the slang word / phrase / acronym beat means online slang dictionary a list of slang words and phrases, idioms, jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations. Given the early instances of beating the bushes and beating around the bushes cited by the dictionaries discussed above, one of the most surprising things about a google books search for the phrases is how late the earliest matches for each phrase are. Beat around the bush meaning to prevaricate and avoid coming to the point origin the figurative meaning of the odd phrase 'beat around the bush' or, as it is usually expressed in the uk, 'beat about the bush', evolved from the earlier literal meaning.
'word is beginning to filter through that there s a festival to beat all festivals planned for the culture-rich village of milltown over the august bank holiday weekend' 'forget about the debate, ignore the rows over religious misrepresentation, just buy this book and enjoy a thriller to beat all thrillers. From the encyclopedia of word and phrase origins by robert hendrickson (facts on file, new york, 1997) usingenglishcom defines beating a dead horse the same way, with an actual dead horse however, i have also heard it came from sailors. Flogging a dead horse (alternatively beating a dead horse, or beating a dead dog in some parts of the anglophone world) is an idiom that means to continue a particular endeavour is a waste of time as the outcome is already decided. Meaning is the general word denoting that which is intended to be or actually is expressed or indicated: the meaning of a word or glance sense may be used to denote a particular meaning (among others) of a word or phrase: the word is frequently used in this sense.
Also, beat about the bushapproach indirectly, in a roundabout way, or too cautiously for example, stop beating around the bush-get to the pointthis term, first recorded in 1572, originally may have alluded to beating the bushes for game. To me, beating the odds is a contest in a contest, such as a game of chance, there are odds of winning and odds of losing when you actually get into calculating odds, it can be quite complex. An archive of the meanings and origins of thousands of phrases, sayings, proverbs, idioms, expressions phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at the phrase finder. Meaning to overcome in a contest is from 1610s (the source of the sense of legally avoid, escape in beat the charges, etc, attested from c1920 in underworld slang) past tense beat is from c1500, probably not from old english but a shortening of middle english beted.
The origin of the idiom 'beating around the bush' is associated with hunting in medieval times, hunters hired men to beat the area around bushes with sticks in order to flush out game taking cover underneath. Denisov sat down by the old ladies and, leaning on his saber and beating time with his foot, told them something funny and kept them amused, while he watched the young people dancing, iogel with natasha, his pride and his best pupil, were the first couple. Meaning: to bring up an issue that has already been concluded something that's considered to be pointless if an argument erupts and it's one that has been previously settled, then the idiom 'beating a dead horse' might be said by someone who sees any further discussion on the topic to be meaningless. Beat the drum for praise, promote, publicize, as in he's always beating the drum for his division, which actually has done very well this term transfers the literal striking of a drum for ceremonial or other purposes to touting the virtues of a person, group, or product. 3 physics a variation in the amplitude of a wave, especially that which results from the superpositioning of two or more waves of different frequencies when sound waves are combined, the beat is heard as a pulsation in the sound.
Origin: the phrase originally meant 'swift and brutal murder', and was first used in macbeth macduff utters the words on hearing of the death of his wife and children. The origin of this phrase lies in medieval hunting during bird hunts, some participants would rouse the birds by beating the bushes so that the others could hunt them the phrase is a very old and the first written reference is from a medieval poem generydes - a romance in seven-line stanzas in 1440, which mentions beat the bush. A well-known use of a word or phrase with a new meaning would make a new definition but every use of a word is not a new definition if 100 people use a word with the same meaning, that's 1 definition, not 100.
Meaning: to avoid the main point in a conversation failing to get to the bottom line when speaking to others when someone takes a long time to get to the core of what they're trying say, people might use idioms like this to describe what the person is doing. English language learners definition of phrase (entry 2 of 2) : to say (something) in a particular way : to perform (a piece of music) with the notes grouped together in a particular way. Phrase definition: 1 a group of words that is part of, rather than the whole of, a sentence2 a short group of words that are often used together and have a particular meaning: 3 a small group of notes forming a unit of a tune.
The figurative meaning of the odd phrase 'beat around the bush' or, as it is usually expressed in the uk, 'beat about the bush', evolved from the earlier literal meaning in bird hunts some of the participants roused the birds by beating the bushes and enabling others, to use a much later phrase, to ' cut to the chase ' and catch the quarry in. The sentence itself was, the ancientness of future wars has three dimensions: the character of the enemy, the methods used to contain and destroy him, and the identity of those beating the war drums. 3: a sound produced by or as if by beating the beat of drums the beat of waves against the rock 4 : a measurement of time in music : an accent or regular pattern of accents in music or poetry 5 : an area or place regularly visited or traveled through as part of a job a police officer's beat.
In music and music theory, the beat is the basic unit of time, the pulse (regularly repeating event), of the mensural level (or beat level. This is how the phrase got to refer to someone who reveals the truth or hidden secrets beat around the bush this comes from boar hunting in which the noblemen hired workers to walk through the woods beating the branches and making noises to get the animals to run towards the hunters. Q from tracey: what is the origin of to beat the band, as in phrases like it was raining to beat the bandis there any reason — beyond muddling one's phrases — why one would use to beat the banshee instead of to beat the band.