kick sth into the long grass

to kick sth into the long grass {UK} (push a ticklish issue aside (or hide it) in the hope that it will be forgotten or ignored ) — отложить что-л. на неопределенный срок; ~ отложить в долгий ящик; ~ положить под сукно

Example 1:"We need to address this problem with our products. People could get hurt. We can't afford to kick the problem into the long grass and pretend it doesn't exist," the manager told the staff. (

Example 2:The commitee kicked the proposal to extend financial aid to poor people into the long grass.

Example 2:How would the hon. Gentleman solve that? Mr. Randall I am confident from the discussions that I have had that we could have found the basis for an agreement. In the Minister's position, I would have hit heads together, stated what I believed would be ultimately acceptable to the House of Commons, and had the courage to put the case to the House. Instead of doing that, the Minister kicked the ball into the long grass. She has been pressurised by the big companies that contribute to the Conservative party and been forced to deliver what they want. That is why we are in this trouble, and why the Government have been grossly irresponsible. The Minister should have started with an agreement on terms and conditions relating to employment protection and dealt with the other aspects afterwards. (Hansard extracts 1991–1992)

"Kick it into the long grass" is golf-derived, essentially describing a form of cheating: a player whose ball lands in the rough so as to be unplayable without adding multiple strokes to the hole can cheat by kicking the ball out-of-bounds into the really long grass and take a one-stroke penalty for a lost ball.

The metaphor here would be that the ticklish issue gets lost, and we play with a different issue altogether (the new ball). (LanguageLog)

Related vocabuary:
[отложить в долгий ящик]
[put sth on the back burner]


not let the grass grow under your feet (to start doing something without wasting time) — не откладывать в долгий ящик, не затягивать с чем-л.