Wow, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? It means “talking in circles.” It’s when you want to discuss something, but don’t want to make any direct reference to it, so you create a way to get around the subject.
Why would anyone do that, you might be wondering. To avoid discussing a specific thing without actively looking like you’re avoiding it. To buy oneself time to come up with an answer. Out of guilt, a lack of education or any of a hundred reasons I suppose.
I see it as a great tool in fiction. It can be an indication of some serious stuff happening in a suspect’s mind, and thereby shape how an investigator chases down what they believe to be a lead in their case. It could work to muddy the case against someone, creating all kinds of trouble along the way. It could also be used to point suspicion at the wrong party.
It’s a great word.
Do you have a word you really like? Let me know in the comments below!