um and ah

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um and ah

To be hesitant or indecisive, especially when speaking out loud about a decision. "Um" and "ah" are common filler words used by habit or when one is deciding what to say. Try not to um and ah so much when you're considering a counter-proposal—it's not professional. It felt like that guy ummed and ahed for five minutes before he gave me his order. Which was a burger and fries, by the way.
See also: ah, and, um

ˌum and ˈaah (about something)

(also ˌhum/ˌhem and ˈhaw less frequent) (informal) speak but say nothing important because you need more time to think about a problem, matter, etc: He ummed and aahed for about half an hour and then finally said he would lend me the money.After a lot of umming and aahing, he finally said yes to the plan.
Um, aah, etc. are sounds that people make when they hesitate or do not know what to say next.
See also: aah, and, um
References in periodicals archive ?
The computer ummed and ahhed for a moment, then told me to proceed, its fingers steepled.
The judges ummed and ahhed about the different tastes and textures but I could have told them within a second that much of it was rotten.
We ummed and ahhed about whether we should do that for so long, but it Brett says break never was actually the label and our management that really pushed us.
We ummed and ahhed about whether we should do that for so long, but Brett says despite break-up never fell it was actually the label and our management that really pushed us.
We ummed and ahhed about whether we should do that for so long, but it Brett says break-never was actually the label and our management that really pushed us.
supposedly the superpower the world is stuck with, has ummed and ahhed, not seeming to have any clue how to progress.
I ummed and ahhed and L'Avenir recalled sweet shop Sarsaparilla tablets.
I ummed and ahhed about whether I would take it because I've never done it for accolades.
We ummed and ahhed whether to keep him back for the Champion Hurdle this year and not even go chasing, but he's built like a chaser - he's won point-topoints in Ireland.
Brad ummed and ahhed about it for a while but decided to go for it," the Sun quoted a source as saying.
GOH ummed and ahhed (as is her prerogative) but eventually decided on the smoked haddock fishcake with egg (pounds 6.
He ummed and ahhed over paint colours, installed plush features and fittings and generally lavished love and care over every last detail.
Sitting at home with Mrs C, he ummed and ahhed about the first one, decided to let it go unbacked, and of course the hound, Killegney Queen, duly bolted in at 2-1.