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Q: "dray time"? - pafalafa-ga could you please get back with your answer? ( Answered,   5 Comments )
Subject: "dray time"? - pafalafa-ga could you please get back with your answer?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: thecurious1-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 15 Feb 2006 08:22 PST
Expires: 17 Mar 2006 08:22 PST
Question ID: 446148
previous question referring to "drae time," I have re-opened this one.
Subject: Re: "dray time"? - pafalafa-ga could you please get back with your answer?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 15 Feb 2006 09:14 PST

Thanks so much for re-posting this.  

I must admit, I was a bit heart-broken (too strong a word, but I can't
find the right substitute!) when you cancelled your original question,
since the topic had developed into a surprisingly interesting search,
and the answer was sort of cool.

That said, here is the answer I had prepared a few days back...hope you enjoy it:


I suspect your musician friend has some familiarity with the world of
commerce...especially shipping.

The total time it takes to ship an item door-to-door from Point A to
Point B -- the transit time -- is broken up into a series of smaller
units:  the time it spends on a truck, the time it spends at transfer
stations, and so on.

The time it takes to get an item from its initial warehouse storage to
the loading dock is known as the 'dray time'.

'Dray' is an old-fashioned word for a type of heavy-duty sled that was
used to drag goods around.  In fact, 'dray' and 'drag' have pretty
similar etymological origins.  A dray-horse, for instance, is (was)
the animal whose job it was to drag the dray around.  Dray-time is the
time involved in doing so.

Although the use of 'dray' itself has fallen by the wayside, the term
dray-time remains.  It is also sometimes known as drayage.

You can see it used in the following papers, both studies of how to
improve overall transit time for moving merchandise:
WebShipCost -- Quantifying Risk in Intermodal Transport

...Dray time is incurred for moving goods to/from a stationary site
from/to the loading site for transport.  Data for transfer time and
dray time are from a variety of data sources...
Approaches for Improving Drayage in RAIL-TRUCK Intermodal Service

[ Table 3 in this report, "Drayage as a Portion of the Total
Door-to-Door Cost", itemizes the dray time for different shipping
scenarios ]

Though I've heard the term 'dray time' before, I'm not familiar with
your friend's specific phrase, "...better a little dray time than no
dray time at all."

However, its meaning would seem to be this.  The only time that
there's no dray time is when no merchandise is being
other words, when nothing's happening.  Once you're moving goods,
there's bound to be some dray time.

So, "...better a little dray time than no dray time at all"
essentially means that it's better to have something going on than
nothing going on at all, even if the something takes a little time.

Or to put it a bit differently:  So you're a bit biggie!

I trust this information fully answers your question.

However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need.  If there's anything more I can do for you, just post a Request
for Clarification, and I'm happy to assist you further.


search strategy -- Personal knowledge along with a Google search on [
"drae OR dray time" ]


Well....that's it.  Let me know if there's anything else I can do for
you on this one.


Request for Answer Clarification by thecurious1-ga on 15 Feb 2006 09:28 PST
pafalafa -

wow, what an erudite response!  my friend is a former model turned
musician, and although a bright person is likely not familiar with the
shipping industry.  especially in this context, they were referring to
social time with me, so not sure if we're on the right path here or

what i was guessing is that they were either goofing with my name
(possible) or that they were using some musical or otherwise hip
jargon (possibly sexual in nature?).  the possible use of some hip
slang term is what i was really searching for.

does this help?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 16 Feb 2006 12:52 PST
tc1-ga, sure to have a look at all the comments that were posted
(below).  Your question sparked a good deal of interest, and there are
certainly some good alternative possibilities there.

Let me just add a few thoughts:

1.  It's certainly possible that your musician/model friend picked up
the phrase from a non-musician, non-model person -- his father,
cousin, friend, roommate, or someone else who learned it in the
shipping business more or less as I described it.  webravi's comment
below certainly suggests that this might be the case.

2.  I'm sure you have a very good reason for not simply asking your
friend, but on the off chance that this solution didn't present
itself, then by all means, go ahead and ask.

3.  There's a Dr. Dre and a Little Dre in the rap/hip-hop world, and
listening to their music is sometimes phrased as getting some 'Dre
time'.  You can see it used that way here:

Beyond that, I'm not sure what to add.  But as always, if there's
something more you'd like me to look into, just let me know by posting
a reply to this note, and I'll be glad to help you out.

All the best,

Subject: Re: "dray time"? - pafalafa-ga could you please get back with your answer?
From: answerfinder-ga on 15 Feb 2006 09:39 PST
Brewer?s Drays were used in the UK. They had a vital job: delivering
beer to the pubs!
The term was applied to horse drawn and later motorised brewery
vehicles. I would still use the phrase when referring to a brewery
lorry but I'm not sure if a person of the generation would use it.
Subject: Re: "dray time"? - pafalafa-ga could you please get back with your answer?
From: webravi-ga on 15 Feb 2006 12:12 PST
I think pafalafa-ga is right on.  Its an old saying that means they'd
rather wait a little to see you that not at all.  How they picked it
up, I have no idea other than perhaps hearing this from someone.  If
they have (grand)parents from the UK, then they may have heard them
say it.  Some sayings are nice enough to use. I have used this on
occasion to say that its preferred to be delayed than not do it at
all.  I got this from an old english gentleman that I used to play
chess with in the park.  I would apologise for my tardiness and he
would respond something similar to that quote.

He told me that sometimes they would be at the pub and the shipment of
ale had not yet arrived.  They would console themselves with that
expression.  Better to have to wait for the beer to arrive than have
no beer delivered at all.
Subject: Re: "dray time"? - pafalafa-ga could you please get back with your answer?
From: frankcorrao-ga on 15 Feb 2006 13:26 PST
perhaps dispirited instead of heartbroken :)
Subject: Re: "dray time"? - pafalafa-ga could you please get back with your answer?
From: myoarin-ga on 16 Feb 2006 08:00 PST
Webravi seems to justify the meaning that Paf provides, though it
still seems a bit far removed from your friend's experience.

Since your friend was model  (and generously assuming my "drehtime"
from Drehzeit as a cinema/photo session term exists outside Germany),
I could imagine that models might often remark that any drehtime is
better than none, that any shooting /catwalk time is better than
hanging around the agency.

Ah, your name is Drae!  Then it could be a play on it.  Just have to
find an equivalent expression with "time":  "any  ---time ..." from
modeling, recording, performing, hip scene.  Who knows, maybe it is
common to insert someone's name in the expression.

"Any Paftime is better than none" certainly is true.  :-)
Subject: Re: "dray time"? - pafalafa-ga could you please get back with your answer?
From: answerfinder-ga on 16 Feb 2006 11:27 PST
Dear thecurious-ga,

I think I may have the answer and it fits in with your 'hip slang
term' -possibly sexual.

Your friend was commenting on your lateness and the words were "drag
time". It seems come from drag queen slang.

See these references. I can find several more if you wish.

"Since most of the contestants are transsexuals, the Continental look
involves appearing both glamorously finished and as "real" as
possible. Continental standards demand that contestants stop working
on "drag time"?that long-held tradition of showing up late?and give up
speaking in slang.",germosen,27644,1.html

?We spent a while bouncing back and forth between the Pub and
Lafitte's, waiting for Jasmine to show up. It was sometime around then
that I became aware that not only is there a concept of "gay time",
but there's a separate concept of "drag time"; Jasmine didn't end up
showing up until about fifteen minutes before her show was supposed to
start, and didn't get started until forty five minutes later.?

"We arrived at the Country Club only slightly later than we were
planning (definitely on Drag Time, though) and finished getting set

"I was running a little late (of course, I was on "drag time") but I
had only a few more blocks to go."

Let me know what you think.

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