AskDefine | Define waffling

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. A repetitive response to a question.

Verb

waffling
  1. present participle of waffle (To ramble on without a point; to argue a point without substantial evidence or a clear opinion.)
    "Brad was waffling in humanities class because he didn't know the answer."

Extensive Definition

The term waffle, particularly outside of the U.S., denotes language without meaning; blathering, babbling, droning. One might waffle throughout an essay or a presentation, when not having enough material or needing to fill in time. Etymologists say the term was derived from waff, a 17th-century onomatopoeia for the sound a barking dog makes, similar to the modern woof. Although the relationship between a dog's bark and indecisiveness is not entirely clear, the speculation is that the words of a waffler have no more meaning than a dog barking.
Waffling can also be used as a derogatory term to describe a candidate or politician who is said to easily switch sides on issues to curry political favor, as an easily-flipped breakfast food with the same name. A waffle was famously used to represent President Bill Clinton in the Doonesbury comic strip.

References

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