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Wilf this

April 10, 2007

Having recently been called "a bit of a tosser" in a comment on this very blog (unfortunately, the comment appeared before the Code of Conduct was issued; if it had been posted after the CoC, I could have deleted it as uncivil with a clear conscience), I have taken a new interest in the slang used by our coalition partners across the pond. I was therefore very excited to note today that, as reported in the Guardian, the Brits have coined a great new term for an old affliction: wasting time on the web. They call it "wilfing," which, apparently, is derived from the universal question "What was I looking for?"

Wilfing may be the single most common activity of internet patrons. A big new survey of web users reveals that two-thirds confess to engaging in wilfing (the other third are tossers) and one-quarter spend at least 30% of their online time in wilfing mode, which represents, the Guardian notes, "the equivalent of spending an entire working day every fortnight pointlessly jumping between random pages." That's a lot of wilfing.

Anyway, go check out the article. You have nothing better to do.


The term tosser or wanker can indeed be used endearingly. Offence should not be the immediate response as much worse is available when offence is the objective! Take it from a brit. Click here for explicit guidance and be pleased the “d” word was not used: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=A+-+Tosser

Posted by: alan at April 10, 2007 01:28 PM

Wilfing? Research, surely ;-)

Posted by: Andrew Smith at April 10, 2007 01:58 PM


I know you Brits can't spell "color" or pronounce "migraine," but can't you at least spell "masturbate"?

Posted by: Condo at April 11, 2007 12:26 AM

you sure about that? It rhymes with something else where f is definitely not for...

Posted by: Anonymous at April 11, 2007 12:49 AM

Ah yes Condo, now it appears that the author of the site I chose to elucidate my point, no pun intended, can and can’t spell on the same page! I hate to drag you back to the link to check but. . . . . . . . .

As I sit here I just cannot get the displayed picture of Mr. Carr out of my mind. I have clicked on his site many times never to think that such a decent looking bloke would suffer such verbal abuse as mentioned in his post. It’s just such a bugger that some have so little regard for decency, they must have aluminium for brains. How do you Yanks spell and pronounce aluminium? Alan.

Posted by: alan at April 11, 2007 06:44 PM

As I sit here I just cannot get the displayed picture of Mr. Carr out of my mind.

I can only hope that you're wilfing and not tossing, Alan.

Posted by: Nick Carr at April 12, 2007 08:41 AM

Verbal intercourse is my preferred activity, although I must “confess” that I could be considered a compulsive wilf/wilfer/wilferer, wilf sounds to concise to be healthy, wilfer sounds to common to be good whereas wilferer sound decent enough to label any honest virtual investigator. I must rebuff the idea that (wilfing) might be considered pointless time. These are indeed wonderful times! Alan.

Posted by: alan at April 12, 2007 12:13 PM

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