fencing with reporters at press conferences


Senior Member

"The governor was an expert at fencing with reporters at press conferences."

Is it correct to replace the highlight with "hedging"?

Thanks a lot!
  • yukinohana

    Senior Member
    Thank you.
    In my dictionary, there is no clear-cut explanation of them. It just says, they both mean the tricky way to react to the questions that one doesn't want to answer directly.
    But to my understanding, is it that "hedge" means one tries to avoid answering, while "fence" means answering the questions smart way but not to the point?

    Thanks a lot!


    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    You've got the main idea. The fact that the governor was an expert tells me that he is "fencing" with the reporters. One definition of "fence" (from Dictionary.com) is:

    "skill in argument, repartee, etc."

    He may well be hedging some of his answers but because he's an expert at fencing, he is verbally jousting with them.