Updated About content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Laurence laziness personified, a lazy person (lazy Laurence is also used); this association of the personal name with the quality is first recorded in the proverbial Laurence bids wages, meaning that the attractions of idleness are tempting.

It has been suggested that there is an allusion to the heat prevalent around the time of the feast of St Lawrence (10 August). Another conjecture is that there was a joke to the effect that when the martyr St Lawrence told his torturers to turn him round on his gridiron, it was because he was too lazy to move by himself.

In the US, laurence is also used for the shimmering effect that can be seen on a road or other surface on a hot day; this may again derive from the association of St Lawrence with heat.