Top 18 Slang For Hesitate – Meaning & Usage

Hesitation is a common feeling we all experience at some point. Whether you’re unsure about making a decision or just need a moment to think, there’s a slang term for that too! Our team has curated a list of the top slang for hesitate that will have you nodding in agreement and maybe even using them in your everyday conversations. So, why wait? Dive in and discover these trendy expressions that perfectly capture that moment of uncertainty!

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1. Tarry

To hesitate or linger in making a decision or taking action. “Tarry” often implies a sense of procrastination or reluctance to move forward.

  • For example, “Don’t tarry too long or we’ll miss our flight.”
  • A person might say, “I need to stop tarrying and make a decision.”
  • In a discussion about time management, someone might advise, “Don’t tarry on tasks that can be done quickly.”

2. Vacillate

To be indecisive or uncertain, often going back and forth between different options or opinions. “Vacillate” implies a lack of firmness in making a choice.

  • For instance, “She vacillated between ordering pizza or sushi for dinner.”
  • A person might say, “I vacillated for days before finally choosing a vacation destination.”
  • In a debate, someone might accuse their opponent of vacillating on their stance.

3. Shilly-shally

To hesitate or waver in making a decision, often due to indecisiveness or a lack of confidence. “Shilly-shally” is a playful and informal term.

  • For example, “Stop shilly-shallying and just pick a movie to watch.”
  • A person might say, “I can’t stand when people shilly-shally instead of giving a straight answer.”
  • In a discussion about career choices, someone might advise, “Don’t shilly-shally when it comes to pursuing your passion.”

4. Linger

To stay in a place or delay leaving, often due to hesitation or reluctance. “Linger” implies a desire to prolong a particular situation or avoid moving forward.

  • For instance, “She lingered at the party, not wanting the night to end.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t linger too long or you’ll miss the bus.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might caution, “Don’t linger in a toxic situation, it’s important to prioritize your own well-being.”

5. Stall

To intentionally delay or avoid taking action, often as a means of buying time or avoiding a difficult situation. “Stall” can also refer to a mechanical device used to prevent movement.

  • For example, “He stalled on answering the question, hoping for more time to think.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t stall, we need to make a decision now.”
  • In a discussion about car troubles, someone might say, “My car keeps stalling whenever I come to a stop.”

6. Procrastinate

To procrastinate means to delay or postpone action, often out of laziness or indecision.

  • For example, “I need to start studying for my exam, but I keep procrastinating.”
  • A person might say, “I always procrastinate when it comes to doing my taxes.”
  • Someone might admit, “I tend to procrastinate on big projects because I get overwhelmed.”

7. Hesitate

To hesitate means to pause or hold back in uncertainty or indecision.

  • For instance, “I hesitated for a moment before answering the question.”
  • A person might say, “I never hesitate to speak my mind.”
  • Someone might ask, “Why do you always hesitate when it’s time to make a decision?”

8. Drag your feet

To drag your feet means to delay or procrastinate, often due to a lack of enthusiasm or motivation.

  • For example, “Stop dragging your feet and finish the project.”
  • A person might say, “I’ve been dragging my feet on starting a new exercise routine.”
  • Someone might admit, “I tend to drag my feet when it comes to cleaning my room.”

9. Sit on the fence

To sit on the fence means to be indecisive or neutral, unable to make a clear choice or take a side.

  • For instance, “He always sits on the fence and never takes a stance on important issues.”
  • A person might say, “I’m sitting on the fence about whether to go on vacation this year.”
  • Someone might ask, “Why are you sitting on the fence instead of voicing your opinion?”

10. Haver

To haver means to be uncertain or indecisive, often due to conflicting thoughts or opinions.

  • For example, I’m hav
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11. Waver

To waver means to hesitate or be indecisive about a decision or action. It implies a lack of confidence or uncertainty in making a choice or taking a particular course of action.

  • For example, “She wavered between ordering pizza or pasta for dinner.”
  • In a discussion about career choices, someone might say, “I’m still wavering between pursuing my passion or choosing a stable job.”
  • A person might admit, “I tend to waver when it comes to making important decisions.”

12. Pausate

Pausate is a slang term that means to pause or delay in taking action. It suggests a temporary halt or hesitation before proceeding with a task or decision.

  • For instance, “He pausated for a moment before answering the question.”
  • In a conversation about buying a new car, someone might say, “I think I’ll pausate and do some more research before making a final decision.”
  • A person might confess, “I tend to pausate when faced with difficult choices.”

13. Bide one’s time

To bide one’s time means to wait patiently for the right moment or opportunity to take action. It implies a deliberate delay or hesitation in order to achieve a desired outcome.

  • For example, “He decided to bide his time and wait for the perfect job offer.”
  • In a discussion about relationships, someone might advise, “If you’re not sure about your feelings, it’s better to bide your time and see how things develop.”
  • A person might say, “I’m biding my time until the right opportunity comes along.”

14. Dawdle

To dawdle means to waste time or be slow in completing a task or moving forward. It suggests a lack of urgency or a tendency to procrastinate.

  • For instance, “Stop dawdling and finish your homework.”
  • In a conversation about productivity, someone might say, “I tend to dawdle when I have a lot of work to do.”
  • A person might admit, “I dawdled and missed the bus this morning.”

15. Lollygag

To lollygag means to spend time aimlessly or idly, often with a lack of purpose or productivity. It implies a leisurely or relaxed approach to tasks or activities.

  • For example, “He lollygagged at the beach all day instead of studying for his exam.”
  • In a discussion about time management, someone might say, “I need to stop lollygagging and start being more productive.”
  • A person might confess, “I have a tendency to lollygag when I don’t have a strict schedule.”

16. Piddle

This slang term refers to hesitating or procrastinating, especially when it comes to completing a task or making a decision. It often implies wasting time or being indecisive.

  • For example, “Stop piddling around and get to work!”
  • Someone might say, “I’ve been piddling all day instead of working on my project.”
  • In a conversation about productivity, one might mention, “I find that I tend to piddle when I’m feeling unmotivated.”

17. Scruple

This term refers to having moral or ethical doubts or hesitations about a particular action or decision. It implies a hesitation based on a sense of right and wrong.

  • For instance, “She had no scruples about lying to get what she wanted.”
  • In a discussion about cheating, someone might say, “I would never cheat on a test. I have too many scruples.”
  • A person might express their scruples by saying, “I can’t support that company because they have unethical business practices.”

18. Stumble

This slang term refers to hesitating or faltering in speech or action. It implies a momentary loss of composure or confidence.

  • For example, “He stumbled over his words when asked a difficult question.”
  • In a conversation about public speaking, someone might mention, “I always stumble a bit when I have to give a presentation.”
  • A person might say, “I stumbled for a moment before making a decision, but ultimately I knew what I wanted to do.”