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fiddle-faddle

[fid-l-fad-l]
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noun
  1. nonsense.
  2. something trivial.
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verb (used without object), fid·dle-fad·dled, fid·dle-fad·dling.
  1. to fuss with trifles.
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interjection
  1. (used to express irritation, impatience, etc.)
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Origin of fiddle-faddle

First recorded in 1570–80; gradational compound based on fiddle
Related formsfid·dle-fad·dler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fiddle-faddle

Historical Examples

  • Well might the merit of your passion be doubted, you say, if, like Mr. Solmes—fiddle-faddle!

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Dost thou think I will fiddle-faddle about myself like a woman?

    An Orkney Maid

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • Is she crying out her eyes over that piece of fiddle-faddle?

    The Maidens' Lodge

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • There's a lot of "fiddle-faddle" wrapped up in that word "inspiration."

    The Fiction Factory

    John Milton Edwards

  • He said one day to me, "Why don't you give up your fiddle-faddle of geology and zoology, and turn to the occult sciences?"


British Dictionary definitions for fiddle-faddle

fiddle-faddle

noun, interjection
  1. trivial matter; nonsense
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verb
  1. (intr) to fuss or waste time, esp over trivial matters
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Derived Formsfiddle-faddler, noun

Word Origin

C16: reduplication of fiddle
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

Word Origin and History for fiddle-faddle

1570s (n.); 1630s (v.), apparently a reduplication of obsolete faddle "to trifle."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper