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um and ah

This page is about the idiom um and ah

British English

Meaning: If you "um and ah" you're having trouble deciding what to say, or you're having trouble telling somebody something.

For example:

  • Stop umming and ahing and just tell me what happened!

  • James ummed and ahed for a while, but he eventually agreed to help us get the deal.

Variety: This idiom is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

Sharon always ums and ahs when she

a. has a sore throat

b. feels really good

c. can't make up her mind

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey