Having lately been led from this site to a number of discussions about “garden path sentences”, I was wondering: does anyone know where the expression “to lead s.o. up (or down) the garden path” comes from? That is to say, does it originate in a known verse, tale, or song?
So strong in my mind are the associations of the phrase with deception that whenever I hear a rendition of Come into the Garden, Maud I want to shout out: “Don’t do it, Maud! Don’t do it!”