shilly-shally

[ shil-ee-shal-ee ]SEE DEFINITION OF shilly-shally
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SHILLY-SHALLY

There is no use in this shilly-shally way of yours, St. Clare!

Shilly-shally, to trifle or fritter away time; to be irresolute.

Drapery it was, and quickly; for Mrs. Munsey was not wont to shilly-shally.

Strange that people will have so much faith in shilly-shally!

"I have little experience of shilly-shally methods," replied his visitor.

Which, by the way, amounts to an admission that he does shilly-shally sometimes.

He mustn't palter, or trifle, or shilly-shally about that iron certainty.

They shilly-shally, they pick and choose, they discuss, they criticise.

But Chance—avenger of all shilly-shally—settled the matter offhand.

Your Uncle William used to make fun of me and sing 'Shilly-shally with the wee girls, ha, ha, ha!'

WORD ORIGIN

"to vacillate," 1782, from adverbial expression to stand shilly-shally (1703), earlier shill I, shall I (1700), a fanciful reduplication of shall I? (cf. wishy-washy, dilly-dally, etc.). From 1734 as an adjective, by 1755 as a noun. Related: Shilly-shallying (1816).

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SHILLY-SHALLY

alternate

verbtake turns, change back and forth
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.