Word of the Day Archive
Thursday June 30, 2011
1. To utter a sound representing a hesitation or pause in speech.
2. To turn or make a turn to the left.
1. A sound or pause of hesitation.
2. The fruit of the Old World hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata, or of other species of the same genus.
1. Used as a word of command to a horse or other draft animal, usually directing it to turn to the left.)
I find that I cannot make poor Mr. Gresham hem and haw -- Anthony Trollope, Doctor Thorne: Volume 3
If you ask Frank Lockyear about his philosophy regarding trees, he will haw and dig about searching for the words.
-- Robert Gray, "He plants trees everywhere," Scouting, 1985.
Haw has many senses, but the origin of this sense is uncertain, possibly imitative of the sound.