hum and haw

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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 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
References in classic literature ?
The Dragon was much annoyed, and hummed and hawed a good deal, and asked the second, 'But what shall be your spoon?
A focal point of the Aberdeen's cityscape this site has lain unloved for 30 years while developers and councillors hummed and hawed over its future.
Given was Newcastle's most consistent player for over 10 years but Premier League coaches hummed and hawed - until Mark Hughes paid up what he now calls "the best EUR9million ever spent".
MY son has just been turned down for a job and, when he asked the personnel manager why, she hummed and hawed for a bit then said it was on account of his obesity.
He hummed and hawed about the Black Watch's future while they were risking their lives in Iraq's Triangle of Death.
They were given a price at the same time they were given permission to speak to him - and they have hummed and hawed ever since.
I hummed and hawed over what to do with it - it really didn't look like it was worth much.
SO christine Bleakley hummed and hawed so long that the BBc withdrew their contract offer and she is now joining ITV.
Before I came to this club I went through the squad and, if I'm honest, I hummed and hawed about taking the job as I thought they had sold too many players for us to be competitive - especially when there were only two weeks left to get new players in.
The cream of Tory talent hummed and hawed and twiddled their thumbs while a poor lorry driver tried to staple the Tory advert to his boards.