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You're a card

Posted by Lotg on October 19, 2004

I recently referred to my French friend as being 'a dag'. He asked me what I meant. I explained that unfortunately, technically, a dag's that icky bit dangling off the backside of a sheep - so to many cultures that would sound like an insult.

But in Australia, it's can be a term of endearment. It depends on the context, and your tone of voice. If someone dresses like a looser, you could call him a dag. But - if someone says something funny, you can turn around and laugh and say 'you're a dag' - but in that context you mean 'you're a card', a character, a wag, etc. Which was how I meant it when I said it to Michel.

Anyway all of that was a round-about way to ask if anyone knows how the term 'card' came to mean a character or a wit? eg. He's a card - meaning he's quite funny, etc.