Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.) Compare Dutch vod (soft), German dialect fuddeln (to swindle).



fuddle (third-person singular simple present fuddles, present participle fuddling, simple past and past participle fuddled)

  1. (transitive) To confuse or befuddle.
    • 1973, “A Rum Tale”, in Grand Hotel, performed by Procol Harum:
      She's fuddled my fancy, she's muddled me good / I've taken to drinking, and given up food
  2. (transitive) To intoxicate.
    • 1848-50, William Makepeace Thackeray, Pendennis, ch 33:
      If an author fuddles himself, I don’t know why he should be let off a headache the next morning …
    • 1863, Henry Walter Bates, The Naturalist on the River Amazons (volume 1, chapter IV)
      There was a kind of festival going on, and the people fuddled themselves with caxirí, an intoxicating drink invented by the Indians. It is made by soaking mandioca cakes in water until fermentation takes place, and tastes like new beer.
  3. (intransitive) To become intoxicated; to get drunk.
    • 1860, John Diprose, The red, white & blue monster song book:
      Pipes I blew, on malt I fuddled, / A lushy man! / Till my mind and head got muddled, / Dissipated man!

Derived terms[edit]



fuddle (countable and uncountable, plural fuddles)

  1. Intoxication.
  2. (uncountable) Intoxicating drink; liquor.
  3. Muddle, confusion.
  4. (UK, dialect, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Bedfordshire) A party or picnic where attendees bring food and wine; a kind of potluck.
    • 2007 December 21, Hatfield, Dave, “Fuddle?”, in eGullet Forums[1]:
      Yesterday we were invited to a fuddle. This is a new word & was a new experience for us. Very pleasant it was too.
    • 2009, thornbird [username], “Do you have a Christmas fuddle at your workplace?”, in Toluna[2]:
      When I was I work I loved the time when we had a fuddle. Everybody decided what they were going to bring so we had an even balance of grub. We had sandwiches or cobs of ham, cheese and pate, crisps, sausage rolls, pickled onions cocktail sausages, vol au vonts, swiss roll, and mince pies. We weren’t allowed booze on the premises but we made do with alcohol free drink. We were as stuffed as pigs and had a job to work for the rest of the day.
    • 2012 December 12, llamapup [username], “What to make for a Christmas fuddle?”, in BabyCentre Community[3]:
      My husband has to take some food into his work for a Christmas fuddle.¶ I suggested he make Christmas pudding cupcakes, but he wasn't impressed.¶ What would you make and take?
    • 2013 December 16, nedluddsmother [username], “My work insists on having a Christmas fuddle, but it sounds like a sexual offence to me.”, in Reddit[4], r/BritishProblems: