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This abbreviation can be expanded in several different ways (such as Design For Yield or Division for Youth), but the one that has gained most exposure in British newspapers in the past year or so is Done For You. It’s the opposite of DIY (“Do It Yourself”).

The trend is for busy people with disposable income to get someone in to undertake those little annoying jobs around the house rather than try to do them themselves. In British cities in recent years, this has been helped along by the influx of large numbers of skilled workers from the new central European members of the EU, especially Poland, and is said to be the reason why DIY suppliers’ profits are falling.

The abbreviation itself is recorded from at least as far back as 2000, but even now articles that use it always explain it, so it hasn’t yet become established in everyday vocabulary.

The do-it-yourself boom has finally collapsed, replaced by the phenomenon of DFY — Done For You. Instead of trying DIY, homeowners are paying professionals to do the work.

Daily Mail, 1 Dec. 2006

The dramatic shift by the British public away from DIY towards DFY — Done For You — has triggered a collapse in demand for MFI’s self-assembly kitchens and bedrooms.

Evening Standard, 22 Sep. 2006

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 20 Jan. 2007

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-dfy1.htm
Last modified: 20 January 2007.