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Potter or Putter

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--- Quote from: Thipu1 on November 18, 2012, 03:13:28 PM ---If someone is really obsessing about things that don't mean much we say, 'Stop Davening over it'.

'Davening' is a Jewish term.  Many people won't recognize the term but most who have studied hard for a test have 'davened' whether they know it or not.   When you're studying hard you may start to rock slightly back and forth.  That's Davening. 

It's a very precise term for someone who is worrying about tiny little things that no one will notice.

--- End quote ---

I live near NYC and have a large number of Jewish friends. They use that word a lot. I like it.  :)

ETA: some of my friends are observant, some are not. Either way, rest assured that I don't use any words disrespectfully.


--- Quote from: cwm on July 19, 2013, 10:26:21 AM ---I'm in the midwest, I putter about the house completely aimlessly. Cars putter along the road.

Dithering to me is a mental thing. You dither about whether to wear the red shirt with the black pumps or the black dress with the ballet flats when you go out at night.

Futzing, to me, is unnecessarily messing with. For example, if I'm puttering about, I might fold a few towels, go to wash a few dishes, just basically wander around aimlessly doing random things for a tiny bit before moving on to something else. If I was futzing about the towels, I'd unfold all of the towels in the house just to get them right.

--- End quote ---

I am in CA but these are pretty much my definitions too so thanks!

Myself, however, I am prone to frittering. I fritter my day away frequently.

Northeastern U.S. here. If I'm puttering, I'm doing little minor tasks around the house, like tidying up, disposing of the junk mail, etc.

Dithering has an anxiety component. If I'm faced with a bunch of tasks but not sure which one to tackle, I'm dithering. It is possible to dither and get nothing done.

Futzing I think of as a euphemism for another word that starts with f-u and ends in -ing and is synonymous with goofing off. "I spent the evening futzing around on the computer."

Never heard "potter" as a verb. It's someone who works with clay. Or Harry's last name.


--- Quote from: Lynnv on November 18, 2012, 09:51:04 AM ---US, Colorado.  I have seen pottering about in books, but have only ever heard puttering (or futzing, as someone else mentioned).

--- End quote ---

Likewise. I prefer futzing, may have seen pottering in a book or two, but puttering is more common IME.

Another Sarah:
Do any other brits know the term putter about as driving in a tiny car? (the type where the engine goes putputput instead of vroom)

That's how I heard the term - maybe thats a lancashire thing


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