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From dialectal duddle, "to trick" (16th century), "to totter" (17th century); perhaps influenced by the name (which itself was probably chosen as an allusion to duddle) of the swindling character Jeremy Diddler in Kenney's Raising the Wind (1803). Meaning "to have sex with" is from the 19th century; "to masturbate" is from the 1950s.


Examples (music)
Single Paradiddle 16 single paradiddle.gif
Double Paradiddle 17 double paradiddle.gif
Triple Paradiddle 18 triple paradiddle.gif
Paradiddle-Diddle 19 paradiddle diddle.gif


diddle ‎(plural diddles)

  1. (music) In percussion, two consecutive notes played by the same hand (either RR or LL), similar to the drag, except that by convention diddles are played the same speed as the context in which they are placed
  2. (slang, childish) The penis.
    • 2011, L. R. Baker, Wingnut: Operation Payback (page 104)
      Paul was the first one to unzip his pants, take out his diddle, and make himself ready to pee on the wire.


diddle ‎(third-person singular simple present diddles, present participle diddling, simple past and past participle diddled)

  1. (transitive) to cheat; to swindle
  2. (transitive) to have sex with
  3. (transitive) to masturbate (especially of women)
  4. (transitive) to waste time
  5. (intransitive) To totter, like a child learning to walk; to daddle.
    • Frances Quarles
      And, when his forward strength began to bloom, / To see him diddle up and down the Room!



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