shilly-shally


Also found in: Thesaurus.
Related to shilly-shally: unceremoniously, imperiously, consistently

shil·ly-shal·ly

 (shĭl′ē-shăl′ē)
intr.v. shil·ly-shal·lied (-lēd), shil·ly-shal·ly·ing, shil·ly-shal·lies (-lēz)
1. To procrastinate.
2. To be unable to come to a decision; vacillate.
3. To spend time on insignificant things; dawdle.
adj.
Hesitant; vacillating.
n. pl. shil·ly-shal·lies
Procrastination; hesitation.
adv.
In a hesitant manner; irresolutely.

[Reduplication of the question shall I?]

shil•ly-shal•ly

(ˈʃɪl iˌʃæl i)

v. -shal•lied, -shal•ly•ing, v.i.
1. to show indecision or hesitation; vacillate.
2. to waste time.
n.
3. indecision; vacillation.
adj.
4. undecided; wavering.
[1690–1700; orig. repeated question, shall I? shall I? later altered on the model of its synonym dilly-dally]
shil′ly-shal`li•er, n.

shilly-shally


Past participle: shilly-shallied
Gerund: shilly-shallying

Imperative
shilly-shally
shilly-shally
Present
I shilly-shally
you shilly-shally
he/she/it shilly-shallies
we shilly-shally
you shilly-shally
they shilly-shally
Preterite
I shilly-shallied
you shilly-shallied
he/she/it shilly-shallied
we shilly-shallied
you shilly-shallied
they shilly-shallied
Present Continuous
I am shilly-shallying
you are shilly-shallying
he/she/it is shilly-shallying
we are shilly-shallying
you are shilly-shallying
they are shilly-shallying
Present Perfect
I have shilly-shallied
you have shilly-shallied
he/she/it has shilly-shallied
we have shilly-shallied
you have shilly-shallied
they have shilly-shallied
Past Continuous
I was shilly-shallying
you were shilly-shallying
he/she/it was shilly-shallying
we were shilly-shallying
you were shilly-shallying
they were shilly-shallying
Past Perfect
I had shilly-shallied
you had shilly-shallied
he/she/it had shilly-shallied
we had shilly-shallied
you had shilly-shallied
they had shilly-shallied
Future
I will shilly-shally
you will shilly-shally
he/she/it will shilly-shally
we will shilly-shally
you will shilly-shally
they will shilly-shally
Future Perfect
I will have shilly-shallied
you will have shilly-shallied
he/she/it will have shilly-shallied
we will have shilly-shallied
you will have shilly-shallied
they will have shilly-shallied
Future Continuous
I will be shilly-shallying
you will be shilly-shallying
he/she/it will be shilly-shallying
we will be shilly-shallying
you will be shilly-shallying
they will be shilly-shallying
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been shilly-shallying
you have been shilly-shallying
he/she/it has been shilly-shallying
we have been shilly-shallying
you have been shilly-shallying
they have been shilly-shallying
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been shilly-shallying
you will have been shilly-shallying
he/she/it will have been shilly-shallying
we will have been shilly-shallying
you will have been shilly-shallying
they will have been shilly-shallying
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been shilly-shallying
you had been shilly-shallying
he/she/it had been shilly-shallying
we had been shilly-shallying
you had been shilly-shallying
they had been shilly-shallying
Conditional
I would shilly-shally
you would shilly-shally
he/she/it would shilly-shally
we would shilly-shally
you would shilly-shally
they would shilly-shally
Past Conditional
I would have shilly-shallied
you would have shilly-shallied
he/she/it would have shilly-shallied
we would have shilly-shallied
you would have shilly-shallied
they would have shilly-shallied
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:

shilly-shally

verb
To be irresolute in acting or doing:
adjectivenoun
Translations

shilly-shally

[ˈʃɪlɪˌʃælɪ] VIvacilar, titubear

shilly-shally

[ˈʃɪliʃæli] vitergiverser, atermoyer

shilly-shally

vi (esp Brit inf) → unschlüssig sein; stop shilly-shallyinglass das Fackeln; you’ve shilly-shallied long enoughdu hast lange genug gezögert
References in classic literature ?
I mean, you are never shilly-shally, first making up your mind that you won't do a thing, and then doing it after all?
There is no use in this shilly-shally way of yours, St.
You're a shilly-shally fellow: you take after your poor mother.
You don't know what a loss you're inflicting on yourself; you don't know what trouble and mortification you're causing me by this shilly-shally conduct of yours.
html) synopsis for the winter premiere of the CW series, Barry finds himself in a shilly-shally situation when a criminal named Plunder (Stephen Huszar) shows up.
She didn't shilly-shally or try to pull the wool over anyone's eyes.
As part and parcel of this nation, one would not be shilly-shally to put forth these few points as food for thought for the benefit of those who may share the same concerns: 1.
The speed at which we went from my mentioning in passing that I was looking for a coach to feature in a regular diary in TJ, to him organising a time and date for our first meeting, was such that I thought: "Here's a man who doesn't shilly-shally about.
TO shilly-shally This originated in the Middle Ages when a person who, was not sure asked: "Shall I?
But if Beijing and Seoul, which have supported Pyongyang mentally and materially, continue to shilly-shally about adopting tough measures to deal with the renegade country, the effectiveness of the resolution will be called into question.
When they see how silly I am and how willing I am to shoot off my mouth, shout, shuffle, and shilly-shally, the more likely they are to give it a shot and shaboom themselves.