song and dance

See more synonyms for song and dance on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. 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

An Americanism dating back to 1870–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for song and dance

bull, con, line, number, scam, story, jive, ripoff

Examples from the Web for song and dance

Contemporary Examples of song and dance

Historical Examples of song and dance

  • She did more now, in addition to the bike: a song-and-dance turn.

    The Bill-Toppers

    Andre Castaigne

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

  • 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.

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

    Musical Criticisms

    Arthur Johnstone

  • And rather than hear that song-and-dance again, I gave myself thirty seconds to think.

    Nor Iron Bars a Cage....

    Gordon Randall Garrett


British Dictionary definitions for song and dance

song and dance

noun informal
  1. British a fuss, esp one that is unnecessary
  2. US and 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

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.