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Related to hemming: Hemming and hawing

deliberate over (someone or something)

To discuss or confer about someone or something. This is a big decision, so I need some more time to deliberate over it with my family, all right?
See also: deliberate, over

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

hem in

1. To surround someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hem" and "in." The police have hemmed in the burglars so that they can't escape from this area. It's very disappointing that towering manses now completely hem in my little home.
2. To limit what someone or something can do. options. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hem" and "in." The terms of this contract really have me hemmed in—even my lawyer can't see a way out.
See also: hem

fence someone in

to restrict someone in some way. I don't want to fence you in, but you have to get home earlier at night. Don't try to fence me in. I need a lot of freedom. Your last stupid move fenced in the department, making us less effective.
See also: fence

fence something in

to enclose an area within a fence. When they fenced the garden in, they thought the deer wouldn't be able to destroy the flowers. We fenced in the yard to make a safe place for the children.
See also: fence

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 someone or something in

Fig. to trap or enclose someone or something. The large city buildings hem me in. Don't hem in the bird. Let it have a way to escape.
See also: hem

fence in

Also, hem in. Restrict or confine someone, as in He wanted to take on more assignments but was fenced in by his contract, or Their father was old-fashioned and the children were hemmed in by his rules. Both expressions transfer a literal form of enclosure to a figurative one. The first gained currency from a popular song in the style of a cowboy folk song by Cole Porter, "Don't Fence Me In" (1944), in which the cowboy celebrates open land and starry skies. The variant is much older, dating from the late 1500s.
See also: fence

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


hum and haw

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

hem in

1. To surround and enclose someone or something: Tall mountains hemmed in the valley. The troops hemmed their enemy in on all sides.
2. To restrict or confine someone or something: Don't hem me in with all these regulations. The police hemmed in the rowdy crowd.
See also: hem

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 ?
Hemming was previously GM and VP of sales, EMEA at UnboundID.
Mumsnet deemed this a breach of its rules and Mr Hemming was banned just before Christmas, and is waiting to find out how long it will last.
Alexander Greenwood, defending Hemming, who has 10 court appearances for 23 offences, all in Scotland, including eight assaults in just one year, said he had been hurt in the subsequent melee.
Mr Hemming argued that the council had a duty to collect waste dumped by residents who refuse to pay for green bins.
We could not even roll the pitch, as the temperature of the metal on the roller was around 60 degrees Celsius," added Hemming, who has worked with stadiums in Melbourne and Saudi Arabia.
Mrs Hemming was convicted of burglary at Birmingham Crown Court and was given a nine-month suspended sentence.
Speaking to reporters after the sentencing, Mr Hemming said: "I'm not happy about the situation generally.
Lib Dem MP John Hemming, 51, had been inside sharing a pizza with the four-year-old daughter from his 13-year affair with former parliamentary assistant Ms Cox.
During a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Mrs Hemming accepted that the footage looked "terrible" but said she had simply been trying to avoid being seen by any children at the property, claiming she was at the house to drop off some post.
We're still unsure what the motive behind the burglary was but whatever it might be, a crime was committed and today Mrs Hemming has been convicted of that crime.
Lib Dem MP John Hemming, 51, was inside the house eating pizza with the fouryear-old daughter from his 13-year relationship with former parliamentary assistant Ms Cox, 32.
Our innovative hemming technology has helped our automotive customers reduce their hemming costs by up to 50 percent, while improving their uptime," said James Toeniskoetter, president and chief operating officer of Hirotec America.
Regan, president and chairman of Hemming Morse, Inc.
This is a different kind of inquiry, Heidegger maintained, and Hemming agrees, raising Heidegger's silence about God into a decisive interruption of theology's wrongheaded tradition.
Even Lindy Hemming, who designed the lavish costumes for ``Topsy-Turvy,'' was impressed with Atwood's work.