Lollygagging Elephants

Do you lollygag?

As a verb it means to dawdle, be lazy or idle, to avoid necessary work or effort. As a noun lollygag means silliness or nonsense [source].

I have been known to dawdle on occasion, and to loiter, tarry, dilly-dally, shilly-shally and even to procrastinate, but I rarely lollygag.

A nice equivalent of these words in Dutch is lanterfanten (to loiter, loaf/sit around, lollygag), which can be used in sentences like:

  • Er is geen tijd om te lanterfanten, slaapkop = There’s no time to dillydally, sleepyhead
  • Ik betaal ke niet om te lanterfanten = I don’t pay you to lounge about
  • De olifanten lanterfanten zoals gewoonlijk = The elephants are lounging around as usual

A lanterfanter is a slacker or good-for-nothing
and lanterfanteren means to waste one’s time or be lazy.

Lanterfanten comes from lanterfant (slacker, good-for-nothing, vagabond), from landtrouwandt (vagabond), from land (country) and trouwant (vagabond, beggar), from the Old French truant (vagabound, beggar, rogue) [source], which possibly comes from the Gaulish *trugan, or from the Breton truan (wretched) [source].

A related word is treuzelen (to dawdle, dilly-dally, stall).

Elephants Kaudulla National Park

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