Post by Jerry Friedman Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden Post by Lewis Post by Pamela
Is "strolling" done faster than "ambling"?
There is nothing about the speed of travel implied in either word other
than "not fast".
Post by Pamela
I want a word to convey the idea of walking slowly, without exertion
and even stopping from time to time.
Post by Jerry Friedman Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
I think "saunter" comes closest to what Pamela wants. "Meander"
suggests a wiggly path, like that of the River Menderes, or the Seine
between Paris and Le Havre. Of course, meandering also implies slowness.
Post by Lewis
The latter one implies a slow speed with a lot of pausing.
I think dawdle is closest to "walking slowly... and even stopping from
time to time."
I'd say "dawdle" means the speaker thinks that the dawdler is too slow and
probably that the dawdler is distracted or reluctant. Without checking, I
feel that "Don't dawdle" is is about a hundred times as common and "Don't
amble" and "Don't stroll" put together.
Sure, because neither stroll nor amble also mean to stop along the way.
There is also the (mainly British, I think) "a bit of a dawdle" which I
think means a short walk and also... something else that I am not really
clear on, but seems to be a standing for "slower":
"Governor Hogan's 500km/h trip was a bit of a dawdle compared with the
train's actual top speed, which was set at more than 600km/h in April.
At that speed, the trip between Baltimore Washington would be complete
in less than 10 minutes."
But I found this sentence on linguazza.com:
"20th Century Women is a dawdle of a film — it wanders about like a big
shaggy dog, stopping for a look here and a sniff there. (awfj.org)"
Which seems to match my image of dawdle.
Post by Jerry Friedman
There's something about saunter that makes me think of prancing, or the
sort of lazy affectation of the young man of leisure in a PG Wodehouse
novel or someone named Blaine in a 1980s movie, but that may just be me.
I see a distinct connotation of self-approval, even smugness.
Yes, that's it.
Post by Jerry Friedman
This is set at a women's college.
"Lord Saint-George stood, with a careless air of owning the place, at the
corner of the Library Wing, watching a game of tennis being played between
two bare-backed students and two young men whose shirts kept on
escaping from their belts. Growing tired of this, he sauntered past the
windows toward Queen Elizabeth, his eye roving over a group of
Shrewsburians a-sprawl under the beeches, like that of a young Sultan
inspecting a rather unpromising consignment of Circassian slaves."
--Dorothy L. Sayers, /Gaudy Night/
"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"I think so, Brain, but how will we get the Spice Girls into the