To malinger is to avoid some activity, typically work, by feigning an illness. I am looking for a similar word but using weather instead of illness. Here in Dallas, winter weather is often just damp and cold but rarely freezing. So, when the forecast calls for a winter weather advisory, many will take that as license to avoid going to work even when it's clearly not going to freeze. I've looked at words like sham, fake, fraud, etc. But nothing like what I'm looking for. Surely there must be some word or perhaps a two word phrase for this meaning.

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    The informal Australian word that can take a meaning close to shirking is bludging but like shirking it does not imply feigning illness in particular. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/bludge Feb 5, 2020 at 22:20
  • Americans have been playing hooky from work for a century or more. "But for those who have even dim suspicions that they have problems on their hands with even one or two of their salesmen whom they even remotely suspect of playing hooky now and then may possibly gain some new slant by reading further ..." - 1929. Unfortunately, I can't access the source, just the google preview :(
    – Phil Sweet
    Feb 6, 2020 at 23:05
  • "Malingering" is more broadly defined than your source suggests.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 6, 2020 at 23:44
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    The current vogue word in the UK for a day off while feigning illness is sickie, as in The temperature outside fell below 5°C so I pulled a sickie - one usually pulls a sickie rather than takes or has one. Feb 7, 2020 at 7:35

1 Answer 1


Shirking works well. Verb: avoid or neglect (a duty or responsibility). Be unwilling to do (something difficult).

  • I've been looking high and low. Sticking with English, this is as close as one may get to what I want. Thank you. Feb 7, 2020 at 16:04

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