Wednesday, 25 January 2012


We all know that if you sit an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of keyboards, they will eventually type out the complete words of Shakespeare. However, I very much doubt that they would ever have sufficient time to list the things that I do which drive my dear wife to distraction.

One example from the astronomically long list, is that I am prone to singing along to music in the car - worse still, I sometimes whistle. When this occurs, my aforementioned spouse says something like 'If you don't stop that whistling, I shall go completely doodlealley'.

I often use the phrase myself, but of course the true word is doolally. Somehow though, I find my wife's version rather endearing - so much so that I have been known to provoke it.

To go doolally means to go insane with utter boredom. The word comes from Deolali which was a British army camp north of Bombay (Mumbai) where troops who had finished their turn of duty before and during the second world war would be sent to await their passage home. Clearly they often had to wait a long time.

The full phrase is 'doolally tap'. 'Tap' was a Persian/Urdu word for malarial fever and so 'doolally tap' meant 'camp fever'. I imagine that those poor troops must have felt something like I do when sitting in the car waiting for my dearly beloved to finish getting ready to go out for the evening.

1 comment:

  1. We say DooLally al the time too, I had no idea it had a real meaning though lol,I thought it was just one of those words that got made up over the years when no one could think of anything better to say .... or is it just our family that do that?