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[kit-l] /ˈkɪt l/ British Dialect
verb (used with object), kittled, kittling.
to tickle with the fingers; agitate or stir, as with a spoon.
to excite or rouse (a person), especially by flattery or strong words.
adjective, kittler, kittlest.
ticklish; fidgety.
requiring skill or caution; precarious.
Origin of kittle
late Old English
1475-85; earlier kytylle, ketil (compare Middle English kitellinge (gerund), late Old English kitelung); cognate with Middle High German kützeln; akin to Old Norse kitla, German kitzeln to tickle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for kittle
Historical Examples
  • He's green when you put him in the kittle, and when you take him out, he's red.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I always said his honour would get into trouble with a kittle girl like that.

    Kilgorman Talbot Baines Reed
  • And says he, 'This beats the kittle Creek babtizin' all to pieces.'

    Aunt Jane of Kentucky Eliza Calvert Hall
  • kittle, in the phrase "kittle cattle," is identical with tickle; cf. Ger.

  • "Eh, but women are kittle cattle to drive," said poor Dick ruefully.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • But that kittle, as you call it, 'll sure bu'st its cinches with we-all ridin' it.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • But it's a kittle thing to decide what folk'll bear, and what they will not.

    Kidnapped Robert Louis Stevenson
  • But theres no telling about girls; kittle cattle, you know, eh?

    The Angel of Pain E. F. Benson
  • Prince-Bishops were kittle cattle, an amorphous kind of creature.

  • Married couples, when they quarrel, are kittle cattle to shoe behind.

    It Never Can Happen Again

    William De Morgan
British Dictionary definitions for kittle


capricious and unpredictable
to be troublesome or puzzling to (someone)
to tickle
Word Origin
C16: probably from Old Norse kitla to tickle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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