haw


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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

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

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

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 ?
Lord Phillips, sitting with Mr Justice Griffith Williams, dismissed an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions against a district judge's decision that the conditions imposed on Mr Haw were so unclear as to be unworkable and were therefore in breach of his human right to protest.
Created by Frank Peppiatt and John Aylesworth, HEE HAW aired on CBS for two years before becoming a weekly syndicated hit series until 1993.
The judge said the conditions imposed on Mr Haw were "unclear and unworkable".
Mr Haw, 56, said: "This is outrageous - they have bent the law like Beckham.
But today three judges in London allowed an appeal by the Government against that decision - meaning that Mr Haw, from Worcestershire, will have to apply to police for authorisation.
Shanty town': David Cameron has criticised Redditch campaigner Brian Haw.
She joined Mr Haw, who has kept a four-year vigil in Parliament Square, and 150 other demonstrators for the reading of the names of 1,000 Iraqi civilians allegedly killed by coalition forces.
A supporter said Mr Haw was held when he declined to hand over to police a banner which Ms Tucker had been holding.
Both, in fact, have appeared several times on his famous Top 10 list, which I always took as a compliment: It meant someone on David's show was a regular viewer of `Hee Haw.
But Mr Haw has continued his protest and will fast for 24 hours from tomorrow in empathy with the victims of war.
He should be left to get on with it, on the basis that Parliament will be there long after Mr Haw finally packs his bags and moves on.
Brian Haw, 56, was held for allegedly obstructing police as they arrested Barbara Tucker, who was demonstrating in support of his cause.
ANTI-WAR protester Brian Haw yesterday won his High Court battle against new laws threatening to end his vigil outside Parliament, which has now gone on for four years.
Martin Marietta also announced the acquisition of a granite quarry near Haw River in central North Carolina and the disposition of two quarries located near Fredericksburg and Culpeper, Virginia.