Top 20 Slang For Tardiness – Meaning & Usage

Running late again? We’ve all been there. Whether you’re constantly hitting the snooze button or getting caught up in last-minute tasks, being tardy is a common struggle for many. But fear not, we’ve got you covered with the top slang terms for tardiness. Get ready to upgrade your vocabulary and maybe even find the perfect excuse for your next late arrival. Let’s dive in and explore the world of being fashionably late!

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1. Running on CP Time

This phrase refers to the stereotype that people of color are often late or behind schedule. It is used to describe someone who consistently runs late or is slow to arrive.

  • For example, “Sorry I’m late, I’m always running on CP time.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t invite him to the party, he’s notorious for running on CP time.”
  • In a joking manner, someone might comment, “I guess I’m running on CP time today.”

2. Dragging ass

This phrase is used to describe someone who is moving slowly or taking a long time to complete a task. It emphasizes the idea of someone being physically sluggish or lacking energy.

  • For instance, “I’m dragging ass this morning, I didn’t get enough sleep.”
  • A person might say, “Stop dragging ass and hurry up, we’re already late.”
  • In a casual conversation, someone might comment, “I’ve been dragging ass all day, I need a coffee.”

3. Lagging

This term is used to describe someone who is behind schedule or taking longer than expected to complete a task. It can also refer to someone who is slow to understand or catch up with others.

  • For example, “Sorry I’m lagging, I got caught in traffic.”
  • A person might say, “I’m lagging behind on my work, I need to catch up.”
  • In a group setting, someone might comment, “Come on, stop lagging and let’s get going.”

4. Behind the eight ball

This phrase originates from the game of pool, where being behind the eight ball means being in a challenging position to make a shot. It is used metaphorically to describe someone who is in a difficult situation or is running late.

  • For instance, “I’m behind the eight ball with this project, I need more time.”
  • A person might say, “Sorry I’m late, I was behind the eight ball with traffic.”
  • In a conversation about time management, someone might comment, “If you’re always behind the eight ball, you need to prioritize better.”

5. Slowpoke

This term is used to playfully describe someone who is slow or takes a significant amount of time to complete a task. It is often used in a lighthearted or teasing manner.

  • For example, “Come on, slowpoke, we’re already late.”
  • A person might say, “I’m such a slowpoke in the mornings, it takes forever to get ready.”
  • In a group setting, someone might comment, “Hurry up, slowpoke, we’re waiting for you.”

6. Time-challenged

This term refers to someone who struggles with keeping to a schedule or managing their time effectively.

  • For example, a friend might say, “Sorry I’m late, I’m always time-challenged.”
  • A coworker might comment, “I need to work on my time management, I’m too time-challenged.”
  • Someone might jokingly say, “I have a PhD in procrastination, I’m definitely time-challenged.”

7. Tardy to the party

This phrase is used to describe someone who arrives late to a party or social gathering.

  • For instance, a friend might say, “You’re always tardy to the party, we’ve been waiting for you.”
  • When someone arrives late to a meeting, a coworker might say, “Looks like someone is tardy to the party.”
  • Someone might jokingly comment, “I’m always fashionably late, tardy to the party is my middle name.”

8. Behind schedule

This term is used to describe someone or something that is not progressing or moving as quickly as planned or expected.

  • For example, a project manager might say, “We’re behind schedule, we need to catch up.”
  • When someone is running late, they might apologize by saying, “Sorry, I’m behind schedule.”
  • A student might stress about their workload and say, “I’m so behind schedule with all these assignments.”

9. Behind the curve

This phrase refers to someone who is not up-to-date or not keeping pace with the latest trends, developments, or expectations.

  • For instance, a friend might say, “You’re so behind the curve, that trend is already over.”
  • When someone is not aware of recent news or events, a coworker might say, “Looks like you’re behind the curve on this one.”
  • Someone might comment on their own lack of knowledge by saying, “I feel behind the curve, I need to catch up on what’s happening.”

10. Lollygagging

This term refers to someone who is dawdling, loitering, or taking their time instead of acting quickly or efficiently.

  • For example, a parent might say to their child, “Stop lollygagging and get ready for school.”
  • When someone is delaying or not making progress, a coworker might say, “We can’t afford any lollygagging, we need to finish this project.”
  • Someone might joke about their own procrastination by saying, “I’m the king of lollygagging, I always leave things to the last minute.”

11. Dilly-dallying

This term refers to the act of taking too long to do something or being indecisive and delaying progress. It implies a lack of focus or urgency in completing a task.

  • For example, “Stop dilly-dallying and get to work!”
  • A parent might scold their child, “Quit dilly-dallying and put your shoes on.”
  • In a group project, a team member might say, “We need to finish this report quickly, so no dilly-dallying!”

12. Slacking off

This phrase describes the act of not putting in the necessary effort or neglecting one’s responsibilities. It implies a lack of motivation or dedication to completing tasks.

  • For instance, “Stop slacking off and start working!”
  • A teacher might reprimand a student, “You’ve been slacking off in class lately.”
  • In a work setting, a manager might say, “We can’t have anyone slacking off if we want to meet our deadlines.”

13. Time-wasting

This term describes the act of using time in an unproductive or inefficient manner. It implies spending time on activities that are not necessary or beneficial.

  • For example, “Stop time-wasting and start focusing on your work!”
  • A friend might criticize another’s behavior, “You’re always time-wasting instead of studying.”
  • In a meeting, a colleague might say, “Let’s avoid time-wasting discussions and stick to the agenda.”

14. Procrastinating

This term refers to the act of intentionally delaying or putting off tasks or responsibilities until a later time. It implies a tendency to prioritize short-term comfort over long-term productivity.

  • For instance, “I need to stop procrastinating and start working on this project.”
  • A student might say, “I always end up procrastinating and cramming for exams.”
  • In a work environment, a coworker might advise, “Don’t keep procrastinating, or you’ll miss the deadline.”

15. Time mismanagement

This phrase describes the act of not using time efficiently or effectively. It implies a lack of organizational skills or the inability to prioritize tasks.

  • For example, “Your time mismanagement is causing delays in the project.”
  • A supervisor might address an employee, “We need to work on your time management skills.”
  • In a personal setting, someone might reflect, “I need to improve my time management to be more productive.”

16. Slow on the uptake

This phrase is often used to describe someone who takes longer than others to comprehend or process information.

  • For example, if someone is explaining a complex concept and the listener is struggling to follow, they might say, “Sorry, I’m a bit slow on the uptake. Can you explain that again?”
  • In a work setting, a coworker might comment, “He’s always slow on the uptake during team meetings.”
  • A teacher might say to a student, “Don’t worry if you’re slow on the uptake at first. Keep practicing and you’ll get it.”

17. Punctuality-challenged

This term is used to describe someone who consistently struggles with being punctual or arriving at a specified time.

  • For instance, if someone is frequently late to appointments, they might be referred to as punctuality-challenged.
  • A friend might tease another friend about their tardiness by saying, “You’re definitely punctuality-challenged.”
  • In a professional setting, a supervisor might address an employee’s chronic lateness by saying, “We need to work on your punctuality. You seem to be punctuality-challenged.”

18. Time-deficient

This phrase is used to describe a situation or person that does not have an adequate amount of time available.

  • For example, if someone is unable to complete a task due to time constraints, they might say, “I’m time-deficient right now. I can’t take on any additional projects.”
  • A student might explain their inability to meet a deadline by saying, “I’m feeling time-deficient with all my other assignments.”
  • In a busy work environment, a coworker might comment, “We’re all feeling time-deficient these days. There’s just so much to do.”

19. Time-dragging

This term is used to describe the perception that time is moving slowly or feels like it’s taking longer than usual.

  • For instance, if someone is waiting for an important event and it feels like time is moving slowly, they might say, “Today is really time-dragging.”
  • A person might express their impatience by saying, “I can’t wait for this day to be over. It’s time-dragging.”
  • In a boring meeting, a participant might comment, “This meeting feels like it’s time-dragging. Is it just me?”

20. Time-lagging

This phrase is used to describe a situation where there is a noticeable delay or lag in the passage of time.

  • For example, if someone is waiting for a response and it takes longer than expected, they might say, “The email reply is time-lagging.”
  • A traveler experiencing delays might complain, “The flight schedule is time-lagging. I’ve been waiting for hours.”
  • In a technological context, a person might say, “The website is time-lagging. It’s taking forever to load.”
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