shilly-shally

shilly-shally

[shil-ee-shal-ee]
verb (used without object), shilly-shallied, shilly-shallying.
1.
to show indecision or hesitation; be irresolute; vacillate.
2.
to waste time; dawdle.
noun, plural shilly-shallies.
3.
irresolution; indecision; vacillation: It was sheer shilly-shally on his part.
adjective
4.
irresolute; undecided; vacillating.
adverb

Origin:
1690–1700; orig. repeated question, shall I? shall I? later altered on the model of its synonym dilly-dally

shilly-shallier, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

shilly-shally
"vacillate," 1703, earlier shill I, shall I (1700), fanciful reduplication of shall I? (cf. wishy-washy, dilly-dally, etc.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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