lackadaisical


having little enthusiasm

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“German Health Minister Jens Spahn has shrugged off any suggestion the government has been LACKADAISICAL in its approach towards vaccinating the country. ‘Things are going exactly as it was planned,’ he told broadcaster RTL.”

Deutsche Welle

Did you
know?

lackadaisical
adjective

- lacking enthusiasm and effort

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary


ORIGIN

This delightfully evocative word calls to mind a person lolling on a couch while all around goes to ruin, somebody who lacks enthusiasm and determination or is carelessly lazy.

Lackadaisical owes its origin, strangely enough, to an old saying of regret or dismay, "lack-a-day!" a shortened form of "alack-a-day!". Alack dates back to medieval times when “lack”, that variously meant failure, fault, disgrace, or shame. So "alack-a-day!" originally meant “Shame to the day!” (that it should have brought this upon me).

Over time the meaning weakened and at some point in the 18th century, the form “lackadaisy” appeared with “lackadaisical” following shortly afterwards and meaning lacking life, spirit, or zest.


THE LACKADAISICAL ENGLISHMAN

Englishman Paul Railton (23), was prosecuted, fined £66, and ordered not to drive for six months, after he was seen “walking” his dog by driving slowly along with the leash held out the car window.

Railton pleaded guilty to “not being in proper control of a vehicle,” his lawyer said his client acknowledged that walking his dog in this was “was a silly thing to do,” and conceded that there was “an element of laziness” involved.


SYNONYMS

apathetic, asleep at the wheel, couldn’t-care-less, disinterested, don’t give a damn, drippy, going through the motions, indifferent, languorous, languid, lethargic, listless, not bothered, sluggardly, slumberous, snail-paced, tortoise-like, without a care in the world, work-shy


PRACTICE OWAD in an English conversation, say something like:

“These days one can’t afford to be LACKADAISICAL about data security.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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