Meaning: seek something diligently; also, work hard to achieve something.
Example: Sales department knows, when earnings are down you beat the bushes for leads.
Origins: From hunting practice of flushing birds from hiding by hitting bushes with a stick.
Source for meaning and origins.
- beat the flora
- beat the shrubs
- thrash the chaparral
- whack the vegetation
- jostle the low hanging fruit
- wake the early birds
Discussion: I’ve attempted to address both the original wording and the nuances of meanings. See what you can do.