Did you know

that there is a difference between dilly-dallying and lollygagging? They have somethings in common with each other as well as with frittering.  They all basically mean wasting time.

It amused me to read that a person who dilly-dallys is annoying because they waste time by fussing around and not getting things done and they aren’t aware of the delays they cause other people.

Did the phrase ‘fussing around’ jump out at you? Me too and it means to ‘fiddle with someone or something’ which is a whole ‘nother idiom.

Defining idioms with other idioms – what fun!

Lollygagging is interesting, this is new information to me, and I’ll just quote rather than try to paraphrase: “Lollygagging takes on a different perspective of time wasting due to its origins and connections to love relationships.  Lollygagging meant wasting time, lazing around with someone else, when there was work to do or duties to perform.  Dilly dallying would indicate a trite waste of time while lolly gagging, a more old fashioned expression, was synonymous with illicit relationships and an inappropriate waste of time.” (SOURCE)

Fritter away, whether time or money, is just wasting it on unimportant or unnecessary things. Can you see what a rabbit hole this could send me down?

And speaking of rabbit holes – what does that mean exactly? According to the Slang Dictionary “Used especially in the phrase going down the rabbit hole or falling down the rabbit hole, a rabbit hole is a metaphor for something that transports someone into a wonderfully (or troublingly) surreal state or situation. On the internet (emphasis added) a rabbit hole frequently refers to an extremely engrossing and time-consuming topic.” (SOURCE)

I never thought of ‘rabbit hole’ as transport into a surreal state or situation. We all know it is a reference to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, and that’s what happens to Alice when she falls down a rabbit hole.  But for the rest of us, it is the internet meaning we mean. When we go there. Down the rabbit hole.

WORDS! and phrases – their meaning, connotation, etymology – the rabbit hole to end all rabbit holes.

And of course, what song do I have playing in my head when I hear the word WORDS? Why Buddy Holly, of course.