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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

ho-hum

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

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

hum job

vulgar slang An act of fellatio in which the person performing it also hums. Nope, our date ended right after the movie, so no hum job for me.
See also: hum, job

hum with activity

To be bustling or busy, as of a place or thing. On Fridays, the school only hums with activity until 3:00 PM—then, everyone rushes out to start their weekend.
See also: activity, hum

humdinger

slang Someone or something that is exceptional or remarkable. The origin of the word is unknown. Boy, was that a humdinger of a game—I can't believe the winning goal was scored in the last two seconds!

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

humdinger

and hummer (ˈhəm(ˈdɪŋɚ))
n. someone or something excellent. (see also hum job.) Now, this one is a real humdinger. Man, that’s a hummer!

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 four- track EP has Balani talking about the highs and lows of life through tracks that are both hummable and intricate in structure.
Songs such as Jasper and recent single Kathleen Sat On The Arm Of Her Favourite Chair tumble into life on the back of instantly hummable solos from guitarist James Madden, and Ryan Murphy's laidback vocals.
The title track channels some of the breezy psychedelia of Traffic, with the immediately hummable chorus of a lost 1970s classic, while These City Streets is effortless, lilting soul in the vein of the Isley Brothers.
The songs are hummable and easy to sing along with but it lacks that little bit of fairy dust which marks out the great from the good.
There's Mark Ronson, who played at Macca's wedding to Nancy Shevell and gives us the hummable Alligator, which is classic McCartney, and the sprightly New.
Unlike the aristocratic characters of the main work those of the intermezzo were down to earth, bringing with them plenty of rustic humour and hummable arias.
Her well-constructed songs, 11 of which are featured on Light of Another Day, pulse with memorable musical hooks and hummable choruses, making for a perfect soundtrack for long drives outside the city limits.
DIRECTOR Nagesh K u k u n o o r ' s Aashayein generates quite a lot of interest and many of the songs are hummable.
OFT-DERIDED as Joy Division copyists, Editors' third album showcases their singularly bold new musical direction, coupling eerie electronic arrangements with their trademark irresistibly hummable hooks to uplifting effect, most notably on obvious highlight Papillon.
Off-kilter rhythms and child-like vocal hooks abound, but a hummable melody or inviting horn section is never far away.
Nothing if not effervescent, Herman doles out hummable tunes, and his signature style, as he professes in the film, is that of "a builder"--he knew how to construct dramatic arcs in show tunes that have nowhere to go but up.
Lap-guitar, banjo and mandolin were all vying in the mix with some instantly hummable melodies, wry Scouse wit and a hint of psychedelia.
On the flip side, target demographic will be amused by involving but not-too-intense narrative, engaging stock characters--including a fantastically malleable creature that appears on loan from a "Pokemon" adventure--and some hummable original songs.
Melodies are described with such terms as "catchy," "soaring," "predictable," "infectious," "evocative," "overblown," "folk-like," or even "hummable." 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.