A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange

Potter or Putter

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baritone108:

--- Quote from: Thipu1 on November 21, 2012, 11:41:26 AM ---'Dithering' refers to useless work that does no good.  A similar term is 'davening'. 

--- End quote ---

I'm not familiar with Davening but Dithering, here, always refers to a verbal action.  Generally it's when someone is trying to say something but stumbling over themselves to get it right and so making no sense.  The frustrated/confused listener would ask, "What are you dithering on about?"

katycoo:

--- Quote from: baritone108 on November 21, 2012, 01:25:32 PM ---
--- Quote from: Thipu1 on November 21, 2012, 11:41:26 AM ---'Dithering' refers to useless work that does no good.  A similar term is 'davening'. 

--- End quote ---

I'm not familiar with Davening but Dithering, here, always refers to a verbal action.  Generally it's when someone is trying to say something but stumbling over themselves to get it right and so making no sense.  The frustrated/confused listener would ask, "What are you dithering on about?"

--- End quote ---

It can be both in Australia but physical is more common here.

kglory:
To me, davening means praying.  It is a Yiddish word meaning "to pray".

I'm American and Jewish and have never heard it used to mean puttering/pottering about.  So the usage may be regional.  I wouldn't advise someone to use "davening" for this definition this unless they were sure their audience shared the same slang meaning -- otherwise, it could be seen as disrespectful.

Thipu1:
Agreed.  Davening in the sense of praying deserves respect.

In the sense of paying too much attention to something that doesn't need it the term is only used among family and very close friends.  In NYC, some terms are just too good to ignore. 

Some years ago, a couple we know were flying on EL AL.  They were asked if they wanted to be seated in the Davening or non-Davening section.  That was a first. 

Sharnita:

--- Quote from: Judah on November 20, 2012, 04:30:23 PM ---I'm a Californian who is also a potter who used to putter in her studio a lot.  Not so much anymore, sadly.  I don't piddle, but I do piddle around. Faffing sounds like passing gas to me.
--- End quote ---

So does pootling.

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