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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 ?
The pup is understood to be heading to Midlands trainer Andy Johnson, with father and son owners Terry and Jason Dawkins the names signing the cheque which values Hee Haws Barney in the same bracket as Pacific Mile and Velvet Commander, who were both said to have changed hands for e100,000 or more.
Should the deal be completed, Hee Haws Barney's new connections will be hoping for better fortune than that which awaited either of the duo, who saw their careersswiftly ended by injury following their sale.
Currently owned by Ciaran Burke, Hee Haws Barney made a stunning Dublin debut at Harold's Cross last week when, despite running slightly green, he left his rivals standing in a heat of the Tote Retention 29.
P rospective trainer Johnson was naturally guarded about the prospect of Hee Haws Barney joining him, but did confirm that the deal was all but complete and should be finalised by this morning.
Crabtree and Haws put on a clinic in perseverance, stamina and character.
Haws, who said he will always remember this victory, improved to 8-4.
The key inning might have been the sixth, when Haws got Fick, Eric Gillespie and Grant Hohman out in order on six pitches.
He would bend, but he wouldn't break,'' Pullins said of Haws.
Hee Haws Barney had won his only other race around Dundalk in a flying 21.
Now the real problem in Cougarville is what guy do we come up with to go nine tomorrow,'' he said after Scott Haws pitched a complete game to beat Cal State Northridge 10-9 on Friday and even the best-of-three Western Athletic Conference championship series.
It appears the Cougars are out of pitching, which is why Haws, who walked 10 and allowed 13 hits, went the distance Friday.