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song and dance

a story or statement, especially an untrue or misleading one designed to evade the matter at hand:
Every time he's late, he gives me a song and dance about oversleeping.
Origin of song and dance
1870-75, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for song-and-dance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And rather than hear that song-and-dance again, I gave myself thirty seconds to think.

    Nor Iron Bars a Cage.... Gordon Randall Garrett
  • She did more now, in addition to the bike: a song-and-dance turn.

    The Bill-Toppers Andre Castaigne
  • But this was after he had formed a partnership with James Mackin, with whom he toured the country as one of a song-and-dance team.

  • She does the song-and-dance business with comedy variations.

  • He is thus as far removed as possible from Grieg and the song-and-dance men of recent time.

    Musical Criticisms Arthur Johnstone
British Dictionary definitions for song-and-dance

song and dance

noun (informal)
(Brit) a fuss, esp one that is unnecessary
(US & Canadian) a long or elaborate story or explanation, esp one that is evasive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for song-and-dance

some Zs

Related Terms

cop some zs

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with song-and-dance

song and dance

An elaborate story or effort to explain and justify something, or to deceive and mislead someone. For example, Do you really believe his song and dance about the alarm not going off, being stopped for speeding, and then the car breaking down? or At every annual meeting the chairman goes through the same song and dance about the company's great future plans. This term originally referred to a vaudeville act featuring song and dance. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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