Origin Unknown; compare Swedish knulla (“to fornicate”), German knuddeln (“to cuddle”). Folk etymology cites the use of two person canoes as an activity to escape the presence of a chaperon by couples during Victorian and Edwardian times, and the activities such privacy allowed.
- To caress, touch up, pet or make love
- He's got a big smile on his face; who's he been canoodling recently?
- To persuade or cajole
- 1900: Charles Felton Pidgin, Quincy Adams Sawyer and Mason's Corner Folks - A Picture of New England Home Life - He canoodled my husband into believin' that the end of the world was comin' and it was his duty to give all his property away.