Phrasal verb: witter on

Birds wittering on. Phrasal verb: witter on.

To witter on is to talk in a long-winded* way about things that are not very important.

This expression is informal British/UK English.


Pronunciation of ‘witter’:  /ˈwɪtə(r)/


*long-winded (adjective) – using too many words or tediously long


Example sentences:

1. I wish you would stop wittering on while I’m trying to work!

2. My new neighbour is lovely but she does witter on sometimes.

3. I was so nervous at my job interview that I wittered on about all sorts of nonsense. I don’t think I’ll get the job!

4. He wittered on for so long I almost fell asleep.


infinitive witter on
present simple witter on and witters on
-ing form wittering on
past simple wittered on
past participle wittered on


Do you someone who witters on sometimes?


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Angela Boothroyd

Angela Boothroyd

Freelance writer, English language teacher, at Botanical Linguist
Hi, I'm Angela, the creator of the Botanical Linguist site. I'm a freelance writer, linguist, and qualified English language teacher. I specialize in writing online course content, and blog posts and articles about business, education, and the English language. I’m also a writing coach for non-native users of English who want to blog better in English.
Angela Boothroyd
Angela Boothroyd


  1. I really like the phrase, witter on, it always makes me laugh for some reason… yes I know someone lol.
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  2. Like Anita, witter on is one of my favourite phrasal verbs :). I’m always wittering on 😀
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