This video (https://youtu.be/_nRtCVJIToA?t=431) is saying

"make way" also means to progress. So the boss comes to me and, like, my team, and he goes: "How's the project coming along?" And I say: "Oh, you know, we're making way." It means we're getting ahead, moving forward.

Does "like" here play a pause to produce a very short period of time to think the next part? similar function as "well"

1 Answer 1


Wiktionary defines this usage of like as:



  1. (colloquial, Scotland, Tyneside, Teesside, Liverpudlian) A delayed filler. He was so angry, like.
  2. (colloquial) A mild intensifier. She was, like, sooooo happy.
  3. (colloquial) indicating approximation or uncertainty, tending to become a meaningless filler There were, like, twenty of them. And then he, like, got all angry and left the room.
  4. (colloquial, slang) When preceded by any form of the verb to be, used to mean “to say” or “to think”; used to precede an approximate quotation or paraphrase. I was like, “Why did you do that?” and he's like, “I don't know.”


  1. (delayed filler): I mean, you know
  2. (mild intensifier): I mean, well, you know
  3. (indicating approximation or uncertainty): I mean, well, you know
  4. (colloquial: used to precede paraphrased quotations): be all, go
  • Thanks for your answer. Why would I need to use this kind of delay? Is it because I need a very short period of time to think what should I say next, like my OP states?
    – brennn
    Feb 19, 2020 at 12:53
  • You don't need to use 'like'. It is very colloquial and informal. Many people find it annoying, and it can label a person as inarticulate. Another use, not mentioned so far, is to signal membership of an age group, e.g. teenagers, or young adults. My niece uses it all the time with her friends, but never to me. When I asked her why, she said 'I don't need to talk stupid with you, Mike' (that's what she calls me). The use of 'like' for this purpose dates back to the beatniks of the 1950s if not earlier. Feb 19, 2020 at 17:50
  • I don't think it's right to copy the whole Wiktionary entry here. The usage notes there explain that many people frown on this usage. In terms of understanding it, this is what it means. There are only a small number of people who don't object to this usage, so it's probably best avoided.
    – CJ Dennis
    Feb 19, 2020 at 21:15

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