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Refers to any pause or temporary postponement of a minor action (speaking, standing up or shifting your position while seated or in bed, switching on/off a light or music device, performing a "noisy" task like moving furniture or operating a motorized household device, etc.) that a thoughtful considerate individual performs (often with a moderate taxing of his own patience/bodily comfort) so as to avoid/minimize the startling/distressing impact of said action on one or more other nearby humans, such as a slumbering partner who is super-exhausted and/or is in a lot of pain or other acute bodily discomfort that he feels whenever he's awake, and thus the only time he has relief is when he's actually asleep.
Cool dude #1: Geez, buddy --- why da awkward limp and droopy shoulders?!?!???
Cool dude #2: (groaning in pain as he hobbles over to sit beside his friend to watch the ball game with him): Oh, just da classic "courtesy delay" woes, pal... I was sitting cross-legged on the grass with my girlfriend, and she had fallen asleep with her head in my lap... I knew she'd been up since 3 a.m. to help her mom care for her colicky baby brother, and so naturally, Mr. Soft-Hearted here couldn't bear to wake her up by changing position, and so I just hadda sit motionless on the cold hard ground with my muscles going numb and cramping up for half an hour till she finally came awake to turn over herself.
by QuacksO August 23, 2017
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