Lallygag

DanceLallygag (or lollygag) is an American slang word. It means ‘to spend time aimlessly’, ‘to be idle’ or ‘to fool around’. It can also mean ‘dawdle’ or ‘dally’.

The origin appears to be unknown. The word forms include lallygagged and lallygagging.

The OED gives examples of early usage, and this one caught my eye:

“The lascivious lolly-gagging lumps of licentiousness who disgrace the common decencies of life by their love-sick fawnings at our public dances.” Northern Vindicator (Estherville, Iowa), 1868.

That’s impressive alliteration and I only wish I could view the rest of the newspaper article (or letter – I bet it’s from a letter).

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