Menare il can per l’aia

Menare il can per l’aia in Italian

Menare il can per l’aia
To beat around the bush

Literal translationTo lead/beat the dog around the barnyard
MeaningTo stall for time or buy time instead of dealing with a subject or matter
IPA pronunciation/ˈmɛtteːre ˈnɛːro su ˈbjaŋko/

Where does this come from? In the past, heavy farm animals were used to thresh grain in barnyards. Lighter animals such as dogs and chickens would have taken much longer to thresh the same amount of grain, hence the saying.

barnyard with a few cows grazing

For example, you can say…

Non menare il can per l’aia. Dimmi cos’è successo.
Don’t beat around the bush. Tell me what happened.

Non sopporto chi mena il can per l’aia. Mi piace andare dritto al punto.
I can’t stand people who beat around the bush. I like to get straight to the point.

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