American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To procrastinate.
- v. To be unable to come to a decision; vacillate.
- v. To spend time on insignificant things; dawdle.
- adj. Hesitant; vacillating.
- n. Procrastination; hesitation.
- adv. In a hesitant manner; irresolutely.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To act in an irresolute or undecided manner; hesitate.
- In an irresolute or hesitating manner.
- n. Indecision; irresolution; foolish trifling.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To hesitate; to act in an irresolute manner; hence, to occupy one's self with trifles.
- n. Irresolution; hesitation; also, occupation with trifles.
- n. the act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or defering an action to a later time
- v. postpone doing what one should be doing
- v. be uncertain and vague
- From shall I. Shill-I-shall-I was an older form. (Wiktionary)
- Reduplication of the question shall I? (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“And while some polls show that Obama is still vulnerable on national security, especially as his administration seems to shilly-shally over how to try terrorists, public sentiment is lagging behind some very positive facts emerging on the ground.”
“Quinlan: "I don't shilly-shally around on this issue.”
“Cameron and Hague both continue to shilly-shally on this topic which makes many suspect that they will seek to avoid the issue if they can, knowing that a vote then to reject the Treaty would open up the whole issue of our membership of the EU at a stroke.”
“You can put on the tap shoes and shilly-shally all you want, but if the entire state of Florida had been recounted, and if those Broward County fogies hadn't voted for Pat Buchanan by mistake, and if all those African-American Floridians hadn't been unfairly disqualified from voting, Al Gore would have been sworn in as president in 2001.”
“Scientists don't have the time or resources to shilly-shally with every new idea that comes down the pike.”
“Do! why I would have you give him his day, ahd keep to it; that I would have you do: and not shilly-shally for ever and subject the best of men to in sults.”
“To shilly-shally about something, not do something, ruminate over it, finally decide to take the plunge--and by then it's too late.”
“I would not be guilty of shilly-shally conduct; I would tell her frankly what I felt and what I thought, and would make her understand that I did not desire her hand if I could not have her heart.”
“Men liked to be talked to straight, and no shilly-shally.”
“You and me might shilly-shally here on this road all day, and what surety shall we hev 'that they hevn't gone by the other road.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘shilly-shally’.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
Words or Sayings from the 1920's or whatever that no one really uses anymore (at least in that context).
Loved for their ingenuity, an exact description, or simply for the pure joy of it.
Go for it, brothers and sisters! I personally have been suffering long for lack of an open reduplicatives list
Names for the next generation of My Little Ponies. Inspired by Star's list.
words for passing time
Words that are fun to say....
The new favourite words of people on Twitter.
A script searches Twitter for "X is my new favorite word" and adds it to this list.
unfathomably, glice, cuh, fab, ciggaty, doll, thuggin, oxymoronic, pineapple, succubutt, griming, cheeky and 3099 more...
For those who wish no words were ever forgotten
Reduplicatives and more.
Words taken from Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow.
Interesting words and usages from Smollett's 1749 translation of Lesage's L'Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane
Looking for tweets for shilly-shally.