In Reply to: Lead up the garden path posted by Vair on March 17, 2009 at 08:12:
: : : 'Lead up the garden path'. I was always told that it was when the p'pig was taken away from the house for slaughter, possibly because they make a lot of noise during the process.
: : I can't see that being the origin, because:
: : (a) Why would the pig be led up the garden path for slaughter? "Out of the yard" or "down the street", yes; "up the garden path", no.
: : (b) When we say that somebody is being led up the garden path, we don't mean they are squealing and protesting; just the opposite - we mean they are so lulled by falsehoods and distractions that they barely notice where they are going. (VSD)
: On a pleasant walk, the less than honorable suitor leads the heiress or pretty young thing up a secluded garden path, where he whispers sweet, persuasive somethings in her ear... Oh, oh, Mr. Skeemer, how can you speak so? And yet I cannot deny that I, too, feel oddly touched :-) Okay, drop the last bit, but I thought the phrase came from the courting moves of long-ago players. And, figuratively, it was a lamb and not a pig. All wrong? Now I'm curious, too.
[The French say "taken for a boat ride" - the sense is the same as in Victoria's explanation: all very deceptively easy and pleasant. -Bac.]