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Lackadaisical

Definition: Lacking enthusiasm and spirit; listless, languid.

Pronunciation: lack-a-DEI-si-cal

Origin

“Lackadaisical” originates from the exclamation “lackaday,” an expression of regret, which in turn is a contraction of “alack the day,” – which itself comes from the Middle English “lack,”  meaning sorrow, shame, regret.

A lackadaisical person is one who is prone to exclaiming “lackaday!” when things aren’t going his way, rather than doing something about the situation.

Why this word?

One could ask, “How is ‘lackadaisical’ different from the much-simpler ‘lazy?’’” Why does the English language have the need for another word describing a lack of interest? The key difference between the two words is that while laziness describes someone who dislikes his work and therefore doesn’t do it, the lackadaisical person is one who does not perceive a purpose to his actions. As opposed to a lazy person who wants to spare himself the effort of doing something that needs doing, a lackadaisical person is content to let life occur as it does. He feels no guilt about his inaction because he sees nothing wrong with it. There is nothing that needs doing; therefore doing nothing is quite legitimate.

How to use Lackadaisical?

Lackadaisical is slightly offbeat, a fun-sounding word. Using it is a great way to freshen up your vocabulary! It can be used to describe a person, an attitude, a manner. “His lackadaisical approach to the matter was appalling.” “The teacher’s lackadaisical attitude was what led to his firing.”

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Written by Hani Skutch

Hani Skutch is a copywriter and editor – and a stand-up comedian to boot. Since earning a BS in advertising and an MSW in social work, Hani, currently a content manager for a high-tech company, has created websites for medical device companies, written content for the travel industry, edited encyclopedia articles for a publishing company, drafted speeches and toasts, worked in a sandwich shop, taught archery, and been employed to watch for shoplifters.

As a comedian, Hani enjoys performing to audiences of all types: religious affiliation, political affinity, and frequent flyer status make no difference. Hani has performed in a number of venues in the United States and Israel, and she headlines regularly at Jerusalem's Off the Wall Comedy Basement.

When not embarrassing her children, Hani can generally be found sleeping.

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