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Etymology 1[edit]

From footle +‎ -ing.



footling (comparative more footling, superlative most footling)

  1. Trivial; unimportant; useless; silly; inept; irritating.
    • 1919, Jerome K. Jerome, chapter 16, in All Roads Lead to Calvary:
      He was explaining to her things about the air service. . . . "Isn't it rather dangerous work?" she asked. She felt it was a footling question even as she asked it.
    • 1922, P. G. Wodehouse, chapter 7, in Right Ho, Jeeves:
      Only a couple of days ago I was compelled to take him off a case because his handling of it was so footling.
    • 1948 May 24, "United Nations: Over to You," Time (retrieved 14 Oct 2013):
      For 28 footling days the 58-nation General Assembly had been debating the now-famous U.S. afterthought: to postpone partition and substitute a U.N. trusteeship for Palestine.
    • 2009 July 15, Carlo Rotella, "The Genre Artist," New York Times (retrieved 14 Oct 2013):
      “Why did you persist in writing hurlothrumbo romances of the footling sort favored by mooncalfs?”



  1. present participle of footle

Etymology 2[edit]

foot +‎ -ling.



footling (plural footlings)

  1. A fetus oriented so that, at birth, its foot will emerge first. A type of breech birth.