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See also: Paddy


A rice paddy in Bengal.


Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from Malay padi (paddy plant). Doublet of palay.


paddy (countable and uncountable, plural paddies)

  1. Rough or unhusked rice, either before it is milled or as a crop to be harvested. [from 17th c.]
    • 2011, Arupa Patangia Kalita, translated by Deepika Phukan, The Story of Felanee:
      Taking out a handful of paddy the old woman exclaimed, “Look how good this paddy is! It is called Malbhog – it makes excellent puffed rice.”
  2. (countable) A paddy field, a rice paddy; an irrigated or flooded field where rice is grown. [from 20th c.]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

English dialect paddy (worm-eaten).


paddy (comparative more paddy, superlative most paddy)

  1. (obsolete) Low; mean; boorish; vagabond.
    • 1860, John Lothrop Motley, The United Netherlands:
      Even after the expiration of four months the condition of the paddy persons continued most destitute. The English soldiers became mere barefoot starving beggars in the streets []
    • 1995, Maureen Borland, D.S. MacColl: Painter, Poet, Art Critic, page 41:
      Becca wrote to Lizzie of her brother's incessant demands: Suthie came to me in a very paddy state and said 'Now ... you must bind a book for me.'
    • 2015, Brian Keenan, An Evil Cradling, page 197:
      Now, now, we are getting very paddy today, aren't we John?

Etymology 3[edit]

Possibly from Paddy (Irishman).


paddy (plural paddies)

  1. A fit of temper; a tantrum.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:tantrum
    throw a paddy etc.
    • 2013, Mike Brown, Adventures with Czech George, page 17:
      I like the story of the Emperor Frederick who got into a paddy with his cook, and shouted: 'I am the Emperor, and I want dumplings.'
  2. (African-American Vernacular, slang) A white person.
  3. (colloquial, England) A labourer's assistant or workmate.
  4. A drill used in boring wells, with cutters that expand on pressure.

Etymology 4[edit]

Perhaps after the paddy bird, or egret. (This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


paddy (plural paddies)

  1. A snowy sheathbill.

See also[edit]

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “paddy”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)



Borrowed from English paddy, from Malay padi.



paddy m (plural paddys)

  1. paddy (rice)

Further reading[edit]