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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

ho-hum

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

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

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 ?
We therefore careen forward rather crudely by allowing market forces to determine which entities survive and which fail with invoice printer humming the only, ultimate test.
The real brilliance resided as much in Nagy's gestures, humming and sheer presence, as in what was spoken.
The Humming combines fixed-wing and tilt-rotor technologies.
launch of our SHINOBI cyber defense platform," stated Kato Mikiya, president of Humming Heads USA, Inc.
Around the time, a humming sound was heard under the street wheremy brother was living in London''s affluent Belgravia district, and the newspapers down there called it the Belgravia Buzz.
it humming too or vibrating its single tone giving it away its cries of
It promises to be an evening of beautifully lyrical melodies that listeners will go home humming to themselves,'' said chorale member Deb Baur.
Nayio Media Unveils First Internet Melody-Based Search Tool; Humming Search Mines Songs From Napster
REGARDING the mysterious humming sound mentioned by Tom Slemen.
But now they think it is the sound of the planet humming along to water music.
The card, which is Windows and MacIntosh compatible, creates a humming noise in computers faster than 8x - which is probably what most have if they purchased a computer in the past year.
below All of a sudden, a strange low humming sound vibrated through the room, and Neil actually felt as if the fillings in his teeth were being shaken loose.
Now, as he wraps up a decade as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, it is the economy that is humming.
The humming is the most harmless thing we do in it.