"dally with someone" vs. "flirt with someone"

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  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    Based on that definition, if you dally with someone, then you have a brief stint with him, a quick relationship. If you flirt with someone, you're simply making amorous motions at them. You're not having anything deeper or longer than that.


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    It's as Tazzler says--almost. To flirt, you need not even meet the person, and there need not be "motions"; you can flirt just by glances across a room. Or by e-mail.

    I think that to dally, there must be a physical connection, and the person dallied with takes that connection more seriously than the dallier.

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Dally with someone is an older term, As I heard it spoken, perhaps 65 or 70 years ago, it meant that someone was using a romantic relationship for ulterior motives such as getting loans or just plain gifts. Flirting is a term which remains durable in time. It means using amorous motions, as Tazz would put it, to get the attention of one of an opposite sex. I agree with Tazz that flirting is not meant to lay the foundation for a sexual relationship.
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