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Etymology 1[edit]

Short for diddly-squat.


diddly (plural diddlies)

  1. (informal) A small amount of no worth.

Etymology 2[edit]

Imitating a sound.

Alternative forms[edit]



  1. A written representation of a trill sound.
    • 1993, Hugh Hood, Be sure to close your eyes: a novel
      On the handcar mornings or evenings he would amuse his companion by pumping away to a triple-tongued pattern, which he would hum emphatically as they rolled along: "dum diddly diddly diddly diddly diddly diddly dee dee-dum dum diddly diddly diddly diddly diddly diddly dee..."
    • 2005, Gordon Giltrap, Total Giltrap: Guitar Encounters of the Fingerstyle Kind
      ...When combined with the following picked note, this gives a rhythmic 'diddly-dum' effect.
    • 2008, Kristie Theobald, Irish Angels
      It's easy enough for him to go “diddly-diddly-diddly-dum” a thousand and one times, whereas with me it's “diddly-diddly-diddly- omigodIcan'tbreathe-dum!”)

Etymology 3[edit]

Possibly shortened from diddlywhacker.


diddly (plural diddlies)

  1. (slang, sometimes childish) penis
    • 1968, Monica Dickens, The Landlord's Daughter, Doubleday & Company (1968), page 268:
      "My child is going to be taught all about sex as soon as he can understand. Mother-in-law is always clucking to him about his diddly. No, no, I say, you must call it penis."