lead down the garden path

Idioms & Phrases

lead down the garden path

Also, lead up the garden path. Deceive someone. For example, Bill had quite different ideas from Tom about their new investment strategy; he was leading him down the garden path. This expression presumably alludes to the garden path as an intentional detour. [Early 1900s] Also see lead on.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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