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 ?
Up For Hire Live (BBC3, 9pm) FANS of Radio 1 will know Tina Daheley (below) as the quiet one who ums and ahs a lot on The Chris Moyles Show - but she quickly finds her voice in this new series.
00pm Fans of Radio One will know Tina Daheley as the quiet one who ums and ahs a lot on The Chris Moyles Show - but she quickly finds her voice in this new series from the Beeb.
You'll never again have to yell your bets to a tele-trader - and let everyone in the West Stand know you're the type of big-daddy punter who ums and ahs about getting long on goals for a fiver.