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hem and haw

To speak in an evasive, vague, roundabout way in order to avoid responding to a question or making a definite statement. The phrase comes from the common filler words often used by habit or when one is deciding what to say. How much longer do we have to hear this guy hem and haw? I wish they would get on with the debate.
See also: and, haw, hem

hum and haw

To speak in an evasive, vague, roundabout way in order to avoid responding to a question or making a definite statement. The phrase comes from the common filler words often used by habit or when one is deciding what to say. Primarily heard in UK. How much longer do we have to hear this guy hum and haw? I wish they would get on with the debate.
See also: and, haw, hum

ho-hum

Dull or boring. I heard she got sick of her ho-hum existence and ran off to New York City.

hem and haw (around)

Inf. to be uncertain about something; to be evasive; to say "ah" and "eh" when speaking—avoiding saying something meaningful. Stop hemming and hawing around. I want an answer. Don't just hem and haw around. Speak up. We want to hear what you think.
See also: and, haw, hem

hum with activity

Fig. [for a place] to be busy with activity. The kitchen hummed with activity as usual. Our main office was humming with activity during the busy season.
See also: activity, hum

hem and haw

Be hesitant and indecisive; avoid committing oneself, as in When asked about their wedding date, she hemmed and hawed, or The President hemmed and hawed about new Cabinet appointments. This expression imitates the sounds of clearing one's throat. [Late 1700s]
See also: and, haw, hem

hem and haw

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

hum and haw

BRITISH
If you hem and haw or hum and haw, you take a long time to say something because you cannot think of the right words, or because you are not sure what to say. Tim hemmed and hawed, but finally told his boss the truth. My mother hummed and hawed at first, but eventually she sent her agreement. Note: People sometimes use hum and ha with the same meaning. Abu hummed and ha-ed a little.
See also: and, haw, hem

hum and haw (or ha)

hesitate; be indecisive. British
The word hum has been used as an inarticulate syllable in hesitant speech since Chaucer; ha appears in a similar role from the early 17th century.
See also: and, haw, hum

ho-hum

(ˈhoˈhəm)
mod. dull; causing yawns of boredom. (Ho-hum is a representation of the sound of a yawn.) Clare played another ho-hum concert at the music hall last night.

hum job

and hummer
n. a sexual act involving holding the penis in the mouth while humming. (see also humdinger.) He asked for a hum job, so she hummed him a lullaby.
See also: hum, job

hem and haw

To be hesitant and indecisive; equivocate: "a leader who cannot make up his or her mind, never knows what to do, hems and haws" (Margaret Thatcher).
See also: and, haw, hem

hem and haw

To refuse to give a definite answer. “Hem,” similar in derivation to the interjection “ahem,” meant to hesitate. “Haw” meant much the same sense of being noncommittal. Combine the two, and you have someone who's stalling for time and hoping not to have to respond any further.
See also: and, haw, hem
References in periodicals archive ?
Finally there is Mohit Chauhan singing the melodious Chala aaya pyar, a very hummable and breezy tune that makes you sway in harmony.
For the sake of variety, such adjectives are modified by tautological adverbs: addictively hummable, pleasantly hummable, fetchingly simple, playfully rhythmic, or plaintively modal.
S CLUB 7: S Club 7 (Polydor) - The 90s version of Cliff's Summer Holiday crew come up with a unique concept - the forgettably hummable album.
From the opening instrumental, "Arcadian Two-step," through the Grateful-Dead-like "Basic Lady," the high spirits of "Zydeco Gris-gris," the rollicking high spirits and hilarity of "Grand Mamou," the complex and compelling "Mardi-Gras," and the sweet closer, "Sugarfoot Rag," this is a diverse musical collection that explores rock, Cajun, country, Zydeco, swamp-pop, you name it -- and makes it all sound like the most fun, danceable, hummable music in the world.
Flashpoint's music is a raw mixture of punk, metal and hardcore, with songs full of driving rhythms, hummable melodies, and lyrics that ring true.
Both ' Ab Hoga Kya' from his Raat Raazi ( EP) and ' Oh Love' from his debut album In Tokens & Charms begin with catchy guitar hooks and develop into delightful hummable tunes.
These are beautifully danced by the large company with Tchaikovsky's hummable score providing a glorious background.
Mark Ronson gives us the hummable Alligator, which is classic McCartney, and the sprightly New.
Both are hot-button productions featuring songs that are already hummable and well known.
They write good tunes, scores of them; each one, seemingly, even more instantly hummable than the last.
THIS Rodgers and Hammerstein show has its fair share of easily hummable melodies, but it is deceptively complex - certainly in terms of its dramatic theme which is a collision between East and the imperialistic West in the mid 19th century - but also in its music.
Off-kilter rhythms and child-like vocal hooks abound, but despite these consciously leftf-ield reference points, a hummable melody or inviting horn section is never far away.
But that memorable title From the New World and hummable largo theme, makes it a crowd-pleaser.
Listen out for the hummable Give Me What I Want on a radio near you.
They have the Kittens' clever hooks and hummable tunes but tackle more serious subjects like going to war and losing a loved one.