Hem and Haw

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Hem and Haw : Phrases


Sounds made in clearing the throat when we are about to speak.



When a speaker constantly makes them without speaking he is usually hesitating out of uncertainty, which suggested the phrase. Said the first writer to record the idea in 1469: "He wold have gotyn it aweye by humys and by hays but I would not so be answered.

Related modern saying: To Um & Ah.

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