• synonyms


[foo t-l]Informal.
verb (used without object), foot·led, foot·ling.
  1. to act or talk in a foolish or silly way.
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  1. nonsense; foolishness; silliness.
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Origin of footle

1890–95; origin uncertain; cf. footy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for footle

Historical Examples

  • I never did it myself—I think it's footle—but lots and lots do.

    The Flamp, The Ameliorator, and The Schoolboy's Apprentice

    E. V. Lucas

British Dictionary definitions for footle


verb (intr)
  1. (often foll by around or about) to loiter aimlessly; potter
  2. to talk nonsense
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  1. rare foolishness
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Word Origin

C19: probably from French foutre to copulate with, from Latin futuere
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 footle


"to trifle," 1892, from dialectal footer "to trifle," footy "mean, paltry" (1752), perhaps from French se foutre "to care nothing," from Old French foutre "to copulate with," from Latin futuere, originally "to strike, thrust" (cf. confute). But OED derives the English dialect words from foughty (c.1600), from Dutch vochtig or Danish fugtig "damp, musty;" related to fog (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper