This week’s word is slang so don’t expect any intellectual Latin or Greek roots this time. The word is dilligaf (also spelled with two ffs, I’ll explain in a moment) and I came across it on a typography trail tour at Hinterland Literary Festival in Kells, Ireland last summer when I was lucky enough to win their inaugural short fiction prize and get a free pass to the festival. I had a fantastic time (despite being very nervous about my reading that evening). If you’re able to make the trip I’d recommend it. There’s a friendly feel to the event and the whole town gets involved. It’s on the 27th-30th of June this year.
The typography tour of art installations around the town was wonderful. Because we were enjoying it so much the kind and knowledgeable guide chatted long past his assigned time. I love when that happens. He mentioned in passing that he’d acquired a new word that week and of course my ears pricked up.
Dilligaff, he explained, is an acronym for “Do I Look Like I Give a Flying F***?”
That got a good laugh from the tour group, even the genteel older ladies in our group raised a giggle.
I’ve had a brief rummage to see if I can find the origin of dilligaf (the more common spelling omits the flying part) and there are suggestions that it may be military slang. It was popularised by an Australian comic songwriter called Kevin Wilson whose songs are pretty R-rated. One of his best-loved tunes is called “Dilligaf”. I’m not including a link in case WordPress takes offense!
Until next time happy reading, writing, and imagining instead of dilligaffing,