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The Macmillan dictionary says: Fumble means to try to hold, move, or find something using your hands in a way that is not skilful or graceful

Then, it explains the idioms Fumble for/about/with/around.

What does "Fumble Over" mean? And what's the meaning of "fumbling over the words" in Lie a little better song by Lucy Hale?

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    Why did you leave out the most relevant definition from your question? fumble (verb) to say something in a way that is not skillful or effective – J.R. Jun 21 '18 at 21:48
  • Oh I'm sorry maybe I didn't see it. I did not know it's the most relevant definition because today I saw this verb for the first time and idk it's meaning at all. @J.R. – user2824371 Jun 21 '18 at 22:29
  • C'mon people why is there no answer till now? You don't need to write a long answer. Few hints are enough and I'll understand. Thanks you, – user2824371 Jun 22 '18 at 16:28
  • I'm not sure why the comment I've provided doesn't answer your question. Perhaps you should explain why, even after knowing that fumble means "to say something in a non-skillful way," you still can't understand fumbling over the words. Oh, one other thing: please don't encourage people to answer in a cursory way. If you want this question to get more attention, try a bounty. – J.R. Jun 22 '18 at 17:20
  • @J.R. I knew the meaning of fumble but I did not know the meaning of "fumble over". I thought it's like "get in" where the preposition completely changes the meaning. Now, I know that adding "over" is like adding "to" to the verb "Go" where there's no significant change in the meaning. Sorry about the other things that I did :) – user2824371 Jun 23 '18 at 0:14
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Okay, I will attempt to form some kind of answer that makes sense, perhaps it helps :)

So basically to fumble in this specific case could and should mean to stumble over or to trip over something.

Therefore, "Fumbling over the words" could simply imply to not be able to find the right words to say (or write).

It could mean that someone is struggling to pick and choose the correct words to say (or write), or perhaps that there is an abundant amount of words to choose from, but the person is uncertain which ones to choose. Technically, they are fumbling over them.

Here's a random usage of the word fumbling with this same context:

"He was fumbling about in the dark like a headless chicken."

Sources: dictionary.com

  • I like your explanation, but I don't understand how your headless chicken sentence could be labeled as "with this same context." – J.R. Jun 23 '18 at 1:08
  • now that i look at it, you have a point, the context isn't the same in that one, rather the usage of the word is what i should have said. my apologies :D – geostima Jun 23 '18 at 15:13

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