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The Morning Brew: The origins of Dilly Dilly

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The origins of Dilly Dilly 

Budweiser has had their share of hit advertising campaigns over the years, including Spuds MacKenzie, an English bull terrier whose image was plastered on everything from koozies to children's t-shirts.

And now the company has struck gold again. If you have noticed the phrase "Dilly! Dilly!" popping up on your Facebook feed, Twitter timeline or while watching football games with your buddies, it's because Budweiser made that happen.

It's either creative, fun marketing, or soulless consumerism run amok, depending on your perspective. The company has now moved on to a second wave of advertising featuring the phrase and some of the cast from the original that made its debut at the start of football season set in the Pit of Misery. Spoiler alert: The dude with the spiced honey mead wine is not having a great time.

But what does Dilly Dilly mean, and is it really from medieval times?

Dilly means something or someone of exceptional quality according to dictionary.com. Its use dates back to the early 20th century according to some sources. But it can also be found even earlier in this folk song entitled Lavender's Blue written in the 1700s by an unknown author.

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,

When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen:

Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?

'Twas mine own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.

So while Dilly Dilly might not be medieval, as the commercial suggests, it's been around for awhile and is infinitely less annoying than this old Budweiser campaign.

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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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