The diddler approaches the bar of a tavern, and demands a couple of twists of tobacco.
"They keep the finest Port here you ever tasted," says the diddler.
Were he not a diddler, he would be a maker of patent rat-traps or an angler for trout.
A diddler may thus be regarded as a banker in petto—a "financial operation," as a diddle at Brobdignag.
Many's the diddler who's passed a whole season thus, dead-heading it on the steamers of the Crescent City.
Some grumble but all submit, and the diddler goes home a wealthier man by some fifty or sixty dollars well earned.
The brandy and water is furnished and imbibed, and the diddler makes his way to the door.
diddler is derived from the word diddle, to do—every body who has not yet made his debut to the Elephant.
diddler's face wears the most gratified smile possible to be produced without teeth.
There are but two ways about it—take to the highway, or become a diddler—a sponge—and, like woodcock, live on "suction."
"to cheat, swindle," 1806, from dialectal duddle, diddle "to totter" (1630s). Meaning "waste time" is recorded from 1825. Meaning "to have sex with" is from 1879; that of "to masturbate" (especially of women) is from 1950s. More or less unrelated meanings that have gathered around a suggestive sound. Related: Diddled; diddling.
A child molester; short eyes (1980s+ Prison)
[cheating sense said to be fr Jeremy Diddler, a character in the 1803 novel Raising the Wind, by James Kenney]