Dilly-Dally

In response to Dawdle

Dawdle synonyms: laze, loiter, mosey, procrastinate, saunter, amble,dally, dilly-dally….

“Stop your dilly-dallying and get in the car!”

“If you didn’t spend so much time dilly-dallying maybe you wouldn’t be up so late finishing your homework.”

These aren’t specific memories from my childhood. Some things happen so frequently specific incidences get lost in the flood. My father threw the word dilly-dally at me and my sisters so often it seemed more a condition of of our existence than a word. “Quit yer dilly-dallying and get the dishes done!”

Though “Get a move on!” was a phrase often spoken with the next breath, Dad wasn’t always using dilly-dally just to tell us off. Tickling around in my memories are recollections of the playful dilly-dally. Someone who dilly-dallies can be prone to skipping, swinging their arms, and singing a merry little tune under their breath all the while. I think kids should spend most of their time dilly-dallying about. There’s none of dawdle’s sense of distracted and undirected unconsciousness. A person who dilly-dallies does so with an intent (even if that intent is simply to avoid doing anything remotely serious). Sometimes, there was a bit of a sparkle in his eyes when he’d catch us dilly-dallying.

My father was one of the more playful, often fearlessly, self-deprecatingly and unpretentiously ridiculous people I’ve ever known. So there was plenty playful dilly-dallying going on in our household. It’s just that he’d never describe what he did as dilly-dallying… my father’s dilly-dallying was always serious business of the most unserious kind.

Want to Play?

First, pick a synonym from below. Use that synonym as inspiration to create something new: words, images, sound, video … just about anything, really.

You can think of this game as a one-word prompt. Rather than give you the one word, I’m giving you a list of synonyms to choose your one word from. It’s one of those games without winners or losers. Well, maybe everybody wins.

Here are the rules.

Some Dilly-Dally Synonyms:

dawdle, delay, hesitate, linger, loiter, meander, mosey, procrastinate, vacillatemore synonyms

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