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dag

Seems to have two different meanings. In SE Qld it strictly means someone whose clothing or hairstyle is bad or unfashionable. In Melbourne it doesn't seem to refer to fashion or appearance, but seems to mean someone whose behavior is weird or uncool or goofy (wld need to confirm this with a native): Qld: She is such a dag. That T-shirt is so daggy and her hair looks likes something from an early episode of Neighbours. Vic: He is such a dag. He does/says really goofy things and doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Contributor's comments: In Sydney you can use dag for both meanings described above. Someone who wears socks under their thongs is a dag, and, someone who makes a really bad pun or feeble joke is also a dag. Both are forms of socially unacceptable behaviour.

Contributor's comments: Someone lacking in fashion sense; not 'up' with the latest things. As in: "Have you seen Mary's shoes? She's such a dag." A derogatory term, mostly used by school children about another child. However, I've also heard it used in New Zealand to describe a very funny person - in this case, it's a compliment. This caused me much confusion when I was on holidays there some years ago!

Editor's comments: There are two meanings of "dag". Is there any area where one is used and not the other?

Contributor's comments: I'm a Melbournite and 'dag' means someone or something that is uncool or unsophisticated, eg. "Look at his daggy clothes".

Contributor's comments: When growing up in Perth in the 70's to be called a 'dag' was insulting (akin to sheep s**t hung out to dry). Now though, in Darwin, if called a 'dag' I have to check the expression on there face to decide if its good or bad?

Contributor's comments: Dag can also be used as an endearment, as in 'Oh, you (old/big) dag!' When someone is very honest about their feelings and the comment or gesture both moves and embarrasses the listener.

Contributor's comments: In Echuca a dag is a person who does silly things but is still great fun to be around. They really don't care what other people think. Most of my friends are dags and I love them even though they are nuts!!

Contributor's comments: [ACT informant] While 'formally' dag is generally seen as an insulting or derogatory term, I tend to use it - and often here it used - in affectionate ways, usually where people ARE being daggy but are quite happy being so and being described so. People will use it about themselves: 'I'm such a dag'

Contributor's comments: Growing up in Adelaide, the term was only ever used in the sense of someone's uncool fashion. But now in Melbourne it seems to be most commonly used in the endearing sense of someone who is idiosyncratic and goofy in an amusing way. Most specifically a dag doesn't care what others think and is true to their own spirit. I most often hear it used by people in reference to their dogs when the beloved pet does something funny and a bit unusual or possibly slightly embarrasing; "Oh Dodge, you're such a dag!". Notably there seems to be a difference between daggy (unfashionable/tasteless) and a dag (the endearing goofball).

Contributor's comments: Here in Melbourne, in the 80's the word dag meant someone who was uncool, (e.g. if they were fairly boring, if they wore flares, had long 70's style hair, if they liked Abba or Kylie Minogue at that time), perhaps similar to a nerd. Seemed to have something to do with 70's fashion that was now unfashionable. You had to be fairly uncool to be called a dag, being normal, or not trendy, wasn't enough. Also, you or your clothes could be described as daggy if you wore certain clothes (e.g. worn out t-shirts, shabby clothes, etc) but this wasn't as bad as being called a dag. You'd have to wear flares or have long 70's-style hair etc. to be called a dag. I can confirm the other contributor who said that dag in New Zealand was a compliment, someone from New Zealand told me this in 1990.

Contributor's comments: Dags are literally the manure caught up in the wool around a sheep's anus. Hence the practice of "dagging", that is shearing off this wool to prevent fly strike. But such a good word could not be left to such limited use. We always used the word and it's variants to refer to something or someone untidy or unattractive. And sometimes an amusing person is "a bit of a dag", or "such a dag".

Contributor's comments: "Dag" would seem odd to me if someone used it about someone they really did dislike, though. When I hear or say "you're such a dag", I'd translate it as "you're charmingly unfashionable".

Contributor's comments: Used in both ways in Brisbane. In the hair/clothes sense, it can be neutral ('i'm just at uni today so i'm dressed pretty daggy') or negative ('there's no way they'll let you in the club, you look like such a dag'). In the behavioural sense, it's usually endearing, when someone makes you laugh by being silly, or when someone is embarrasingly frank in saying something.