um and ah

This page is about the idiom um and ah

British English


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.


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

Contributor: Matt Errey