ABBA: dig in [ diggin' ] the dancing queen

Discussion in 'English Only' started by MiSiena, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. MiSiena Member

    I was listening to an evergreen Abba's song and I was wondering what "dig in the dancing queen" really means. Does it mean "take the role of the dancing queen"?
  2. Allegra21 Senior Member

    I am petty sure they are saying "Diggin' the dancing queen", which means that they're enjoying watching thedancing queen strut her stuff!

    Hope that helps!
  3. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    All the online lyric sites I checked say "Dig in the dancing queen." Not sure what it's supposed to mean, but remember that the song-writers (Abba) were not native speakers of English! ;)

  4. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    I always thought it was "diggin' the dancing queen." I don't know what it could mean otherwise. (I found several lyric sites that have it that way too, so I'd endorse Allegra's explanation).
  5. learningabc Member


    "see that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen", a line taken

    from ABBA's Dancing Queen. Could anyone tell me what does dig in here


    Thanks in advance
  6. Oeco

    Oeco Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    English - US
    Several blogs suggest that it should be "diggin' " I don't know.

    edit: this seems to be the consensus over at the Swedish section of WordReference back in Feb of 2006
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2008
  7. Monkey F B I Senior Member

    Acton, MA
    English - USA
    That was my thought too, but all the lyrics I can find say "dig in"
  8. Oeco

    Oeco Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    English - US
    That's how it is on their official website. Am I right in saying that they are not native English speakers?
  9. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    You're right, Oeco, they are not native speakers. I think it has to be "diggin" the colloquially shortened form for "You are digging," or at least I assume the subject would be "you" since it follows a series of commands (see, watch).

    By the way, learningabc, "to dig" in this context is (slightly dated) slang "to enjoy very much."
  10. Espero Antos Senior Member

    Hello everybody,

    the lyrics of a well-known song by the Swedish group ABBA (too bad not to be able to reproduce here the mirror writing of the second "B" :)) feature the following line:

    See that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the dancing queen

    Now, what is "digging" supposed to mean here? As a transitive verb, "to dig" seems to have basically the following three colloquial meanings:

    a. To understand fully: Do you dig what I mean?
    b. To like, enjoy, or appreciate: "They really dig our music and, daddy, I dig swinging for them" (Louis Armstrong).
    c. To take notice of: Dig that wild outfit.

    Only the third meaning (c) seems to fit in the above context, but I am still not very persuaded (all in all, the song deals with a teenager who is the dancing queen, not with someone who is taking notice of her)... Could anyone help me to understand?

    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  11. AmEStudent

    AmEStudent Senior Member

    Italian/Albanian - bilingual
    You should take a look at these previous threads:

    1, 2
  12. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    It is about the "dancing queen", but these lines are urging the listener to see her, watch the scene in which she appears (scene may be literal or figurative as in a "specified area of activity or interest", e.g. "the disco scene"). In this situation the singer and everyone present are "digging the dancing queen". Dig here means sense (2) to enjoy, admire, appreciate.

    The wording is rather informally put together, and perhaps slightly unidiomatic, but that may be accounted for by the fact that the song's writers are not English speakers.

    EDIT: thanks for those links AmEStudent. From these I see that the original lyric, or the official version, is "dig in". However it is widely understood to be diggin', because that makes more sense. If it is indeed "dig in", it may mean "get involved in", "sample", etc., as in the phrase "dig in!" which is used to urge people to eat the food in front of them. This makes it even more likely to be simply the English of someone who doesn't know the language well. This is not an uncommon phenomenon in the "Euro-pop" scene, when Swedish, German, Danish, etc., songwriters attempt to write in English.
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  13. Espero Antos Senior Member

    Thank you so much AmEStudent! Apparently, there is almost invariably a previous thread which was about the same topic as that one has just started!

    And many thanks to Matching Mole too! Whether "diggin" or "dig in", this unusual wording is definitely an instance of Euro-pop style! Not that singers who are native speakers of English can generally be deemed more accurate, though - I think of (in)famous lines such as "I can't get no satisfaction" or "We don't need no education" -, but at least they know that they are breaking the rules :) and, as Kurt Vonnegut once put it, "our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us: everything else about us is dead machinery."
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  14. sejpdw Senior Member

    There is an expression of "Dig in the Dancing Queen" among lyrics of 'Dancing Queen', one of Abba's famous songs. I looked up the dictionary, but I couldn't find the proper meaning of "dig in" in that expression. Would you help me?

    "You can dance, you can jive,
    having the time of your life
    See that girl, watch that scene,
    dig in the Dancing Queen"
  15. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I think that might be a bad transcription. Isn't it "diggin' the Dancing Queen"? In other words, everybody likes watching the Dancing Queen.
  16. ch01_kelly

    ch01_kelly Senior Member

    Hello everybody,

    I came across this sentence from the famous ABBA song

    You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
    Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine.
    You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life.
    See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen

    As I always do I came to my favourite forum to find out the meaning of "dig in the dancing queen" and I found this thread:

    The point is that after reading the whole post I still don't know what is the meaning of the sentence. Although there were quite a few people posting about the doubt between "dig in" or "digging", etc, etc, I guess that we, non natives still don't have a clue of what the real meaning is.

    My question here would be. What do natives understand when they hear the song...?

    Thank you for any help
  17. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    I hear diggin' -- which is digging without the final g. And I take it to mean like or enjoy... one of several meanings of dig.
  18. Kumpel Senior Member

    London, England
    British English
  19. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    To be honest, I don't think I ever really knew what the exact words were or what, precisely, the line meant. But that didn't trouble me: I'm very accustomed to the words of songs not making complete sense:D.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2010
  20. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Moderator note: All threads on this classic ditty have now been merged into one supertrooper thread. (No, we're not putting it in the FAQs:D)
  21. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    No, they are not native English speakers, and produce some unidiomatic English. Think also of 'Money, money, money is so funny in a rich man's world.' They don't mean funny ha, ha - but full of fun. (If English was logical, the adjective for fun would be funny.)

    I'd vote for diggin' the Dancing Queen here.
  22. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    I have sheet music which says "dig in", but when I listen to the song I like to pretend that I hear "... watch that scene. Dig it!: the Dancing Queen!"
  23. vtg81 Senior Member


    In "New English File - Elementary" by Clive Oxendem and Christina Latham-Koenig published by Oxford University Press in a footnote to the lyrics of "Dancing Queen" they say: dig in = (informal) get ready

    I hope it can help.
  24. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    How does "get ready the Dancing Queen" make any sense? I'm puzzled by that note.

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