Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- addling (rare)
addlings pl (plural only)
- (obsolete, provincial) Earnings.
1818, Samuel Johnson; H[enry] J[ohn] Todd, A Dictionary of the English Language; in which the Words are Deduced from their Originals; and Illustrated in their Different Significations, by Examples from the Best Writers: Together with a History of the Language, and an English Grammar. By Samuel Johnson LL D. With Numerous Corrections, and with the Addition of Several Thousand Words, and also with Additions to the History of the Language, and to the Grammar, by the Rev. H. J. Todd [...] In Four Volumes, volume IV, London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, OCLC 83215348:
- […] addlings, wages received for work. A gentleman has informed me, that in Nottinghamshire, and throughout the north, with some variation of sound, addle and addlings are now in use.
1855, "An inhabitant" [pseudonym; Francis Kildale Robinson], A Glossary of Yorkshire Words and Phrases, Collected in Whitby and the Neighbourhood. With Examples of their Colloquial Use, and Allusions to Local Customs and Traditions, London: John Russell Smith, 36, Soho Square, OCLC 318615, page 2:
- ADDLINGS, wages. "Poor addlings," small pay for work. "Hard addlings," money laboriously acquired. "Saving's good addling," as the well known saying, "a penny saved is a penny gained."
1862, anonymous [C. Clough Robinson], The Dialect of Leeds and Its Neighbourhood: Illustrated by Conversations and Tales of Common Life, etc. To which are Added a Copious Glossary; Notices of the Various Antiquities, Manners, and Customs, and General Folk-lore of the District, London: John Russell Smith, 36, Soho Square, OCLC 561397426, page 233:
- "Addlings." Earnings. "Whoas a better house an' I hev? an' av gotten it together, stick be stick, an' ivvry bit on 't, wi' my awan addlings!" "This is my awan addling!" says a man, pulling out of his pocket a handful of silver and showing it to his comrade.
1999, Diarmaid Ó Muirithe, The Words We Use: Collection 3, Dublin: Four Courts Press, ISBN 978-1-85182-466-3, page 33:
- My Dunfanaghy correspondent has also heard the noun addlings, though not of late. Addlings were a woman's earnings; money got by selling the odd dozen of eggs or by knitting for the factories or shops.