Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    What words/ metaphors do you use to describe a lazy person ? Form and explanation please !

    I can refer to some in Dutch (amongst others, of which I cannot guess the origin) :

    nietsnut (good-for-nothing, no use for anything)
    lijntrekker (line-drawer, meaning someone able to dodge the work (if that is all right in English)),
    straatloper (street-runner/walking literally, just wandering, not working)
    dagdief (day-thief),
    zonneklopper (sun-lover, sun-beater literally)

    Looking forward !
  2. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    In Finnish:

    (laiska = lazy)
    laiskamato ('lazy worm'), probably for the slow movement of a worm,
    patalaiska ('stewpot lazy'), extremely lazy.
    - pata is used except for its actual meaning (stewpot) also as an enforcing prefix for certain words: patahullu (extremely crazy), patajuoppo (a total drinker), patarani (all torn), patavanhoillinen (ultraconservative)... that's all I could find now.
  3. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia

    лентяй (lentyay), comes from лень (len'), 'laze'
    лодырь (lodyr') - not sure about the etymology
    бездельник (bezdel'nik) - literally 'who does nothing'
    лежебока (lezheboka) - literally 'who lies on his sides'
    дармоед (darmoyed) - literally 'who eats at others' expense (and doesn't give anything in return)'

    There are more synonyms, but they don't necessarily imply laze so I'm not listing them.
  4. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French

    un fainéant
    une feignasse
    (always feminine even for men)
    un flemmard
    un tire-au-flanc
    un tire-au-cul
    (more vulgar as "cul" = "arse" but personally I don't use it)
    un glandeur
    ... (& there must be others...)

    "un bon à rien" (good-for-nothing) is - for me - rather a useless person than someone lazy.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  5. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    My favorite Mexicanismo in this vein is to address someone as "Olga Pérez," which sounds like an ordinary name but is short for "holgazán perezoso" —lazy idler. I don't know how widely this phrase may be used. Perhaps some of our fellow hispanohablantes will comment.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  6. anikka Senior Member

    latvian: sliņķis - lazy
    slinkumpods/slinkummaiss - a pot of laze/sack of laze
    diedelnieks - but this can also mean a beggar
    dīkdienis -
    dienaszaglis - the one who steals the day (by not working)
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Just a request: can everyone try to suggest a translation ? That is where it becomes interesting for the rest of us, who regretfully do not know your language ! :)

    @DP : I think you're right as for the 'good-for-nothing', but I wonder if there is no link. And could you explain a little more ?

    @Anikka : could you explain 'ska...', 'die...', 'dik...' ?

  8. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    I've looked in a Hungarian dictionary of synonyms and it had at least 20 adjectives/nouns and maybe just as many expressions for just one of the meanings (1. below), for we have 3 main areas to use the idea:
    1. for somebody who does not like work
    2. who gets up late
    3. to describe a way of walking.

    N.B. Among the 20 synonyms we have the equivalent of good-for-nothing (semmirekellő= necessary for nothing) because if somebody does not (or would not) occupy himself in one way or another, you cannot appreciate him as a "normal", "full" human being.

    Some words and expressions then:

    naplopó = daythief (there is also an expression with this: to steal the day)
    lajhár = sloth
    semmittevő = nothingdoer
    tétlen = deedless (if I think right that tét equals tett)
    dologtalan =businessless ("business" in the sense of something to do/that needs doing)
    munkakerülő =workavoider
    (for kids: iskolakerülő = schoolavoider - the one who e.g. pretends to be ill so as not to go to school but any way it's done, if the aim is the same, the term is the same)

    föld terhe = (a)weight/burden on earth
    (meaning that he does not do anything else just have his own weight, so is just a burden on the ground/ to the "old mother Earth")

    büdös neki a munka = work is smelly for him
    (this is why he doesn't want to touch it or get near it)

    elmenne a munka temetésére = s/he would go to the burial of work (= to get rid of it)
    (my granddad changed this saying into: he wouldn't go to the burial of work so that people shouldn't think that he is sorry for it being dead :))
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Those Hungarians are quite creative ! It gives me a few other ideas, but then we are widening our scope to sentences :
    - hij steekt geen vinger uit (he won't lift a finger(give a hand, well...) )
    - straatslijper (streetsharpener...)
  10. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    In Czech:
    lenoch (from líný = lazy)
    jen se poflakuje (~[s/he] only beats [time])
    ulejvák (from ulejvat=ulívat = pour out)
    práce mu nevoní (work stinks/doesn't smell good to him)
    práce mu neříká "Pane" (work doesn't say/title him "Mister")
    práce se nebojí: klidně si vedle ní i lehne (s/he doesn't affraid of work: s/he can leisurely even lie paralelly to it)
    ten práci nevymyslel ([that was] not he [, who] originated the work)
    má ruce dozadu (has hands turned to back)
    má lachtaní ruce s/he has hands of sea lion)
    nemakačenko (ne=not; makat=work hard/quickly[coloquial]; -enko -> makes impression of person of east Slavic nationality e.g. Russian or Ukrainian or Slovak or so)
    povaleč (who lies [rolling] [in much occasions])
    zahálka (lazy - obsolete/bookish)

    In Lithuanian:
    tinginys (lazybone)
    turi abi rankas į užpakalį (at)suktas (s/he has both hands turned to back)
    nepersistengia (s/he doesn't endeavour too much)
    laisvo oro direktorius (director/chief of free air)
    vengia darbo ([s/he] avoids [the] work)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  11. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting that Czechs refer to sea lions when talking about lazybones !

    is it strange that there are no or hardly any resemblances with Dutch - except maybe the idea of beating ???
  12. federicoft Senior Member

    Some in Italian:

    Fannullone - Nothingdoer
    Poltrone - Literally 'lazy', but similar to poltrona, 'armchair'.
    Scansafatiche - "Work avoider"
    Perditempo - "Time waster"
    Perdigiorno - "Day waster"
    Sfaccendato - (s=without; faccende=businesses)
    Svogliato - (s=without; voglia=will).
  13. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    Only one is similar words, but different meaning:
    good-for-nothing - budižkničenu = galoot, blunderbuss, but not necessarily lazy...
  14. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    Oops! Typo mistake: not budižkničenu but budižkničemu! Sorry!
  15. Giorgio Lontano

    Giorgio Lontano Senior Member

    Nova Guatemala da Assunção.
    Guatemala - Español

    Zángano: It's the male of the queen bee, or drone. It doesn't have a sting and it does not collect honey.
    Huevón: It means someone has such big testicles that he has to drag them around, and that's why he's so lazy. Quite a vulgar word.
    Flojo: Literaly, it means loose.

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  16. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Just incredible how creative people seem to be when describing these persons...I guess it is due to utter disgust..
  17. Hakkar Senior Member

    The Boot
    Adding another in italian:

  18. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    That reminds me of another word in Dutch : 'leegganger' (or 'ledigganger'), '(empty-goer'. ('iIdle' also means hollow or empty etymologically, I believe)...
  19. Hermocrates Senior Member

    Italian & British English (bilingual)
    A few more in Italian:

    Buono a nulla = good for nothing (discussed on WRF in this thread)

    Pelandrone = idler

    Pigro = lazy

  20. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    We use lazy bones in Chinese too. 懶骨頭 - lan gutou
  21. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I'be interested in learning more about the origin of lataviti, pelandrone and lan gutou !
  22. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    Lazy: «Οκνηρός, -ρή, -ρό» /okni'ros okni'ri okni'ro/ (masc. fem. neut.). Classical adj. «ὀκνηρός, -ρὰ, -ρόν» (ŏknē'rŏs, masc./ŏknē'ră, fem./ŏknē'rŏn, neut.)--> idle, sluggish, lazy with obscure etymology. Colloquially «τεμπέλης, τεμπέλα, τεμπέλικο» /te'mbelis te'mbela te'mbeliko/ (masc. fem. neut.) a Turkish loan word, tembel (lazy) < Farsi تنبل (tanbal).
    Verb «οκνεύω» (o'knevo)--> to laze, be lazy. Ancient Greek «ὀκνείω» (ŏ'kneiō) and «ὀκνέω» (ŏ'knĕō). Colloquially, «τεμπελιάζω» /tembeʎazo/.
    -«Καναπές» /kana'pes/ (masc.), lit. sofa (for obvious reasons), a colloquialism. French loan word canapé, settee, sofa.
    -«Χαραμοφάης» /xaramo'fais/ (masc.), spiv, slacker, a colloquialism; compound, Turkish haram, illicit, impure + neuter noun «φαΐ» /fa'i/, colloquialism of the neuter noun «φαγητό» /faʝi'to/, food.
    -«Ακαμάτης, ακαμάτισσα» /aka'matis aka'matisa/ (masc. fem.), sluggard; compound, privative prefix «α-» (a-) + masculine noun «κάματος» /'kamatos/, hard work, exhausting labour; Classical masculine noun «κάματος» ('kămātŏs) meaning the same.
    -«Κοπρίτης, κοπρίτισσα» /ko'pritis ko'pritisa/ (masc. fem.), turd; slangish almost vulgar; Byzantine pejorative term for the person who does not work and «κοπρίζει» /ko'prizi/ (3rd person present indicative). Classical verb «κοπρίζω» (kŏ'prīzō)--> to defecate, from «κόπρος» ('kŏ'prŏs)--> dung, manure.
    -«Ξυσαρχίδας» /ksisar'çiðas/ :warn: lit. he who scratches his testicles; compound, verb «ξύνω» /'ksino/, to scratch, scrape, Classical verb «ξύω» ('ksūō) with the same meaning + neuter noun «αρχίδι» /ar'çiði/, colloquialism of the masculine noun «όρχις» /'orçis/, Classical «ὄρχις» ('ŏrxīs)--> testicle.
  23. AquisM Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    In colloquial Cantonese, we also have the word 蛇王 (se wong), literally snake king, as snakes don't really do much except lying on the floor and coiling. This can also be used as a verb to shirk from work.
  24. catlady60

    catlady60 Senior Member

    Pennsylvania (20mi/36km from the Poconos
    English-US (New York City)
    In English, in addition to "lazybones":

    ne'er-do-well - a lazy, irresponsible person
    slacker -
    someone who avoids work or responsibility
    goof-off - synomym for slacker
    loafer - a person who is habitually lazy
    bum - a lazy person who'd rather live off the others
    couch potato - a lazy person who spends his or her waking hours watching TV
    mouse potato - a lazy person who spends too much time at the computer
  25. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    I can't find the origin of lan gutou on the net...

    AquisM, I've never heard of 蛇王 used as a noun before, but always a verb... are you sure it's used as one? (Maybe I'm just too young, because Wikipedia says it's falling out of fashion now. :p)
  26. AquisM Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Neither have I. I consulted Wikipedia too. :p
  27. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Very interesting thread....the most common German word is, I think, and the only one I know :D -- Faulenzer [<faul lazy]...other examples? Japanese? etc...
  28. Holger2014 Senior Member

    I think that's right, Faulenzer is probably the most common expression in German, Faulpelz sounds a bit old-fashioned. Other versions are based on the adjective faul ('lazy') which can easily be combined with any noun that seems to fit in - from Sack ('bag') to Schwein ('swine') to ... ... ...
  29. Luxiaofeng New Member

    Hey folks,

    Lots of word in Vietnamese describing a lazybones (thus, we are behind you??? Kidding :D). Lets say
    "thằng/con vô tích sự" (Lit. boy/girl good for nothing) or
    "vô công rỗi nghề" (Lit. no job nor work) or
    "đại lãn"
    (Sino-Vietnamese) (Lit. the greatly lazy person) and "lười" (slothful)
    to call someone who is definitely good at idling.

    We also have idioms like "phường giá áo túi cơm" (Lit. you, the coat hanger and the rice bag) to talk about one who never does anything well or totally a couch-potato.


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