addle pate

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See also: addlepate



addle (confuse, confused) + pate (head)


addle pate (plural addle pates)

  1. (archaic, idiomatic) A foolish or dull-witted person.
    • 1792, Thomas Holcroft, Anna St. Ives:
      Am I to be ramshaklt out of the super nakullums in spite o' my teeth? Yea and go softly! I crack the nut and you eat the kernel!
      I tellee once again you've an addle pate o' your own! [...] Squire Nincompoop!
    • 1882, Frank Lee Benedict, Miss Alderly's Law-Suit, published in Peterson's Magazine, volumes 81-82, page 443:
      Then he executed a war-dance, and at its close stepped before Crawford, regarded him for an instant, and croaked out:
      "Addle-pate! Addle-pate!"
      "Upon my word, I believe you are the foul fiend himself," muttered Mark.
    • 1910, Grace S. Richmond, Red Pepper Burns:
      “Go to bed, and don't bother your addle pate about your neighbours. Can't a man cut up a few sticks without your coming to investigate?”

Related terms[edit]


  • 1811 Dictionary of Vulgar Tongue