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Related to hemming: Hemming and hawing

deliberate over (someone or something)

To consider, discuss, or confer about someone or something, often for a lengthy period of time. 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 ?
She has used crowdfunder website to raise funds towards her re-election campaign - the total is approaching PS8,000 - saying politics should not be a game solely for the independently wealthy, seen also as a dig at Hemming.
In July, an appeal court judge heard how Mr Hemming had asked Birmingham City Council to clear rubbish after complaints from members of the public.
He told the court that Hemming had now had to abandon his sports and fitness college course because of the incident.
When asked about the dew factor which has troubled both the teams in the one-day matches, Hemming said: "We have applied a chemical all around the outfield that will remove dew.
At her trial, Mrs Hemming claimed she had no recollection of picking up the cat, which she released in the local area a day after she took it.
The court heard Hemming and her husband wed in 1981 after a six-month romance and have three children.
He added: "Closed-circuit television cameras which were installed on the house captured the moment when Mrs Hemming approached the house, entered the house and finally left the house with the kitten under her arm.
Itching for his next challenge, he began asking his dad about forensic accounting and career opportunities at Hemming Morse.
Hemming reproduces the analytic in scrupulous, generous detail, touching controversial matters such as whether Heidegger's thought fills into two parts, the "early" and the "late," and the philosopher's embrace of Nazism.
Hemming involves several steps, explained Phil Wienes, sales manager for Lamb Technicon Body & Assembly Systems of Chesterfield, Mich.
For Hemming, the biggest challenge was the amount of research she spent on Gilbert and Sullivan's operas, particularly ``The Mikado.
Congratulations go to the entire Sharman team for an outstanding accomplishment," said Hemming.
Catchstitch: Choose this stitch for hemming knits and stretch fabrics.
Mr Hemming argued that the council had a duty to collect waste dumped by residents who refuse to pay for green bins.
BIRMINGHAM MP John Hemming has been banned from parenting forum Mumsnet for a series of "drunken" posts.