Originally posted on Historically Speaking.
If someone is shilly shallying, they are acting irresolutely. In other words, those who shilly shally can’t be pinned down one way or another to an action or a decision leaving others with no idea where that person stands.
The Glasgow Herald published a Letter To The Editor written by Alex C.M. MacNeill in March 4, 1977 where the author voiced his displeasure at the inaction of the political parties. He took issue with the Labour, Conservative, and Liberal parties equally as the first (and only) sentence of his brief letter made clear.
The present attitude in Scotland to the shilly-shallying of the Labour, Conservative, and Liberal parties over devolution recalls to mind the saying attributed to one of the German conductors of the old Scottish Orchestra who was having trouble with a recalcitrant or incompetent brass-player: “With your damn nonsense will I twice once put up. But always? Sometimes? Never!”
In the October 16, 1942 edition of the Milwaukee Journal, Joseph Shechtman wrote about…