dilly-dally


to delay taking action

TRANSLATION

to dilly-dally over the choice of sth. [coll.] = sich nicht für etw. entscheiden können to dilly-dally [coll.] = bummeln, trödeln, herumtrödeln

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

"After DILLY-DALLYING over new rules on part-timers' rights, the government is now hurrying new legislation through parliament."

The Director

Did you
know?

dilly-dally
informal verb phrase

- to waste time, especially by being slow, or by not being able to make a decision

Cambridge Dictionary

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ORIGIN

"Dilly-dally," meaning to dawdle or delay, has been used in English since the early 1600's.

To "dally" originally meant to pass time in conversation (from the Old French "dalier," to chat), but later came to mean lingering, loitering, or just generally wasting time.

The form "dilly-dally" is simply what linguists call a "reduplication" for emphasis, much like "ping-pong" or "tick-tock".

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SYNONYMS

waste time, dally, dawdle, loiter, linger, take one's time, delay, mark time, kill time, while away time, potter, trifle, temporize, stall, procrastinate, drag one's feet, play a waiting game; dither, hesitate, falter, vacillate, waver, fluctuate; haver, hum and haw

informal: shilly-shally, blow hot and cold, let the grass grow under one's feet, pussyfoot around

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PRACTICE OWAD TODAY

"Management can't afford to DILLY-DALLY over this issue"

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