ellesieg (ellesieg) wrote in 1word1day,

Tuesday Word: dogwash

Are you a chronic procrastinator? Have you been putting things off for so long that your excuses no longer lull you into a false sense of security? Do loved ones roll their eyes at your assertions that you will do it tomorrow, or the next day, or maybe sometime next week, when the weather is nicer or the lines shorter? Maybe they even offer you advice. Buy a planner! Buy an egg timer! Pen a to-do list, that most hideous of self-made prisons, before going to bed! Pace your cell and rattle the bars over your morning coffee! GROW UP!

You mustn't blame them, friend. They mean well. They really do. But what they don't understand is that just as a dog is man's best friend, a dogwash is a procrastinator's best friend. It is the height of both deception and self-deception. It may involve the actual washing of a dog. It may not. In fact, you may even dogwash washing the dog! Ohh, the possibilities! I am giddy with them! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to explain. A dogwash or dog-wash is a project of low priority that is undertaken in the name of avoiding a more serious, urgent project. Thus to dogwash is to put something off by working on a dogwash.

Amateur Procrastinator: Dude, I meant to buy you a present yesterday but I was too lazy to put on shoes and there was a Twilight Zone marathon on and I had a whole bag of cheese puffs so I just..well, I made you this card. Sorry about the orange stains.

Dogwasher/Professional Procrastinator: I meant to buy you a present yesterday, but I got so wrapped up in my word spreadsheet and did you know "chicken" once referred to the young of not just chickens and other birds but human children? Pretty neat, huh? Oh and I somehow found the time to make you this card. Sorry about the stains. Brain food, you know.

Either exchange may compel your friend to wash their hands, but which will result in your friend washing their hands of you? The answer to that question is definitely in the dogwasher's favor!

Dogwash's origin, from the Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing (FOLDOC): "A quip in the 'urgency' field of a very optional software change request, ca. 1982. It was something like 'Urgency: Wash your dog first.'"
Tags: d, link, noun, slang, verb, wordsmith: ellesieg

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