The word I am looking for is not pleonasm (it stresses to much on the redundancy of the chosen words, i.e. fewer words would suffice). It is not verbiage (it stresses to much about the complexity of the word choices).

My opinion about the suggested words:

waffle: To speak or write at length without any clear point or aim.

This is almost the meaning I am looking for. My only objection is that the dictionaries do not seem to agree upon its meaning. For example,

  • to talk or write foolishly —Webster Online
  • speak or write at length in a vague or trivial manner —Oxford Online
  • speech or writing that says nothing important —Cambridge Online

(Yes, they all sound similar, but to my ears there is considerable difference.)

doublespeak: the quoted meaning below sounds "too evil," as there seems to be deliberate/conscious evil intentions

gobbledegook: sounds too much like the speaker has no idea as to what he is talking about.

Had "waffle" universally been agreed to have the above meaning. I'd opt for it.

  • 1
    This is something that people sometimes use words to try to get away with not actually uttering something that someone else might be capable of hearing and deciphering into meaningless drivel.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 12:45
  • This question will be closed unless you provide a sentence where you show how this word would be used.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 13:04
  • "The words I found" Which words? Do you want users to post answers that simply repeat them? Please, edit your question and list the words you discarded
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 13:05
  • 1
    @Mari-Lou Whether the question is duplicate or not, your given link is not what I am asking.
    – blackened
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 13:09
  • 2
    It is the art of evasion. When an interviewer asks a difficult question, the astute politician will simply answer a different, but related one.
    – WS2
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 13:16

3 Answers 3



from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To speak or write evasively.
  • transitive v. To speak, write, or act evasively about.
  • n. Evasive or vague speech or writing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Speech or writing that is vague, pretentious or evasive.
  • v. To speak or write vaguely and evasively.
  • v. To speak or write at length without any clear point or aim.
  • v. To vacillate.
  • v. To rotate (one's hand) back and forth in a gesture of vacillation or ambivalence.

doublespeak TFD

Deliberately evasive, confusing, contradictory, and/or ambiguous language used to mislead or deceive the listener. Likely adapted from George Orwell's term "doublethink," from his 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, meaning the ability to simultaneously hold two opposing thoughts or beliefs as being correct in one's mind. Like any successful politician, she was quite adept at doublespeak whenever confronted with bad publicity.

or informal: gobbledegook

n. Unclear, wordy jargon.


An idiomatic expression to convey the idea is beat about the bush:

To speak vaguely or euphemistically so as to avoid talking directly about an unpleasant or sensitive topic.

  • Don't beat around the bush—just tell me the truth. Why are you beating around the bush? Are you leaving our company?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.