First attested around 1656; variant of daddle (“to walk unsteadily”), perhaps influenced by daw, since the bird was regarded as sluggish and silly. Not in general use until around 1775. Compare also German daddeln (“to play”), German verdaddeln (“to waste (time), neglect, ruin”).
- IPA(key): /ˈdɔːdəl/
Audio (UK) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔːdəl
- Homophone: doddle (in accents with the cot-caught merger)
- (intransitive) To spend time idly and unfruitfully, to waste time.
- (transitive) To spend (time) without haste or purpose.
- to dawdle away the whole morning
- (intransitive) To move or walk lackadaisically.
- 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 48, in Vanity Fair. A Novel without a Hero, London: Bradbury and Evans, […], published 1848, OCLC 3174108:
- We […] dawdle up and down Pall Mall.
- If you dawdle on your daily walk, you won't get as much exercise.
dawdle (plural dawdles)
- A dawdler.
- A slow walk, journey.
- 2017, Colin G. Pooley, Jean Turnbull, Mags Adams, A Mobile Century?: Changes in Everyday Mobility in Britain in the Twentieth Century:
- For many the journey home from school was not a walk but a 'dawdle'
- An easily accomplished task; a doddle.
- 2009, Archie Macpherson, A Game of Two Halves: The Autobiography:
- He was a QC from Edinburgh, wearing the black jacket and pinstripe trousers of his trade, as if straight from court, and probably persuaded to come in the belief that if you could interest the Budhill and Springboig party in the repressive Gaullist policies in Algeria then becoming Solicitor-General was a dawdle.