verb (used with object), twid·dled, twid·dling.
verb (used without object), twid·dled, twid·dling.
- twiddle one's thumbs,
- twig blight,
- twig borer,
- twig girdler
Origin of twiddle
Word Origin for twiddle
1540s, "to trifle," of unknown origin; of the fingers, first recorded 1670s. Figurative phrase twiddle one's thumbs "have nothing to do" is recorded from 1846; to twirl one's thumbs in the same sense is recorded from 1816. Related: Twiddled; twiddling.
twiddle one's thumbs
Be bored or idle, as in There I sat for three hours, twiddling my thumbs, while he made call after call. This expression alludes to the habit of idly turning one's thumbs about one another during a period of inactivity. [Mid-1800s]