noun, plural pad·dies.

a rice field.
rice, especially in the husk, either uncut or gathered.

Origin of paddy

1590–1600; < Malay padi unhusked rice; currency of this word in E of India perhaps due to early association with Kannada batta, bhatta unhusked rice (< Indo-Aryan; compare Hindi, Marathi bhāt cooked rice, Sanskrit bhakhta food, meal)
Can be confusedpaddy pate pâte pâtépaddy patty



noun, plural Pad·dies.

Slang: Often Offensive. an Irishman or a person of Irish descent.
a male given name.

Origin of Paddy

familiar variant of Irish Padraig Patrick; see -y2

Usage note

This term is used as a neutral nickname or term of address for an Irishman, though it may be perceived as insulting. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paddies

Historical Examples of paddies

  • "The paddies are here on both sides of the river," added Achang.

  • "Plenty of paddies on all the streams about here," replied the native.

  • There is no end of 'paddies' along this river, and I'm sure they cannot understand your lingo.

  • The hired press ignored the Paddies and their island for a whole year.

    The Art of Disappearing

    John Talbot Smith

  • Me boy, nothin's shure whin yez are drillin' with the Paddies.

British Dictionary definitions for paddies


noun plural -dies

(sometimes not capital) an informal, often derogatory, name for an Irishman

Word Origin for Paddy

from Patrick



noun plural -dies

Also called: paddy field a field planted with rice
rice as a growing crop or when harvested but not yet milled

Word Origin for paddy

from Malay pādī



noun plural -dies

British informal a fit of temper

Word Origin for paddy

C19: from Paddy
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 paddies



"rice field," 1620s, "rice plant," from Malay padi "rice in the straw." Main modern meaning "ground where rice is growing" (1948) is a shortening of paddy field.



"Irishman," 1780, slang, from the pet form of the common Irish proper name Patrick (Irish Padraig). It was in use in black slang by 1946 for any "white person." Paddy wagon is 1930, perhaps so called because many police officers were Irish. Paddywhack (1881) originally meant "an Irishman."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper