November 10th 2015

Today’s word of the day is ‘Alakefic’. Although it doesn’t technically appear in the Oxford English Dictionary, it’s a word my grandad uses a lot, and thus it’s one of my favourites.

If you Google it paired with the word ‘definition’ you’ll find something like this.

alakefic – from Egyptian (couldn’t care less about, laid back, uncaring. e.g., He’s pretty alakefic about that)

It’s a word that’s come from RAF slang, and my Grandad was in the third battalion of the parachute regiment. The battalion before him had just returned from an operational jump in Suez, Egypt when he joined his battalion, so it makes sense that they’d picked up Egyptian words, I guess. 

My Grandad’s definition of the word involves another bit of RAF slang. 

He defines the word to mean “No Ambition And Fuck-all Interest” which he shortens to NAAFI. And the NAAFI (Navy, Army, Air Force Institute) was also basically the meeting point of all the different sections of the British Military services. It’s where the Air Force fought (with fists and words not weapons and guns) the Navy, and the Navy fought the Army and the Army fought the Air Force all because they thought they were the superior section. The way he describes it to me sounds somewhere between a working mans club and that bar from Top Gun. 


No Ambition And Fuck-all Interest. NAAFI. It’s an acronym that’s linked between the definition of a word and the communal area/pub frequented by the Para’s, the Army and the Navy. 

He uses ‘Alakefic’ all the time, my Grandad. He says he’s got to the age now where he’s Alakefic about everything. It does him no good to worry about things. “Que sera sera, whatever will be will be” is another one of his sayings. 

He also often quotes part of a speech from Shakespeare’s Hamlet with impeccable accuracy, but I don’t think that’s relevant. He’s a hell of a bloke, my Grandad. 

I try to swear by the same mantra’s as he does, even though I’m 56 years his junior. It’s not that I’ve gone past caring about things, it’s that I know better than to not let things bother me. Because really, it might be worth kicking off in the moment about something that annoys you, or frustrates you, but in the long term none of it matters. 

I’m terrible to argue with because I’ll just sit there and say ‘yes dear’ until you stop shouting at me. I don’t want to get involved, there’s no point. 

It’s a blessing and a curse, really. Because I’ll rarely get upset, or angry. But by extension I’m never emotional when I should be. 

Until tomorrow, the John Lewis advert did nothing to me. 



6 thoughts on “Alakefic

  1. jenanita01 says:

    I wish they could bottle some of your laid back attitude, for I could do with quite a bit of it sometimes. I know it is stupid to get mad, to want to kill whoever makes me angry , but I don’t seem to have an off switch!

  2. Janet New says:

    My dad, who sadly passed away in 2002, was in the army during WWII he served in India and he used this word a lot too, It has passed into my own vocab and that of my, now adult, children 🙂

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