piddle

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See also: Piddle

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unknown, although possibly originally paw + -le (forming verbs involving continuous or repeated movement). In later use, a euphemistic diminutive of piss. The noun derives from the verb.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɪd.l̩/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpɪdəl/, /ˈpɪd.l̩/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪdl, -ɪdəl

Noun[edit]

piddle (plural piddles)

  1. (Britain, Australia, euphemistic slang) Piss: urine.
    • 1870, Cythera's Hymnal, page 77:
      The spunk with his piddle comes bubbling.
  2. (Britain, Australia, euphemistic slang) A piss: an act of urination.
    • 1937, Eric Honeywood Partridge, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, page 625:
      Piddle, urine; occ. the act of making water.
    • 2013, Angela Lemanis, Contemplating Life from the Back Step[1], page 84:
      On the way out to the gardens, he had to stop for a piddle but was so weak he couldn't maintain his balance while lifting his rear leg.
  3. (Britain, figurative) Nonsense or a trivial matter.
    • 1910 March 2, Rupert Brooke, letter:
      It's the alteration of the little words that makes all the difference between Poetry & piddle.

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Verb[edit]

piddle (third-person singular simple present piddles, present participle piddling, simple past and past participle piddled)

  1. (intransitive) Often followed by about or around: to act or work ineffectually and wastefully.
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) Synonym of peck: to attack or eat with a beak.
    • 1598, Richard Barckley, A Discourse of the Felicitie of Man..., page 217:
      As [Mahomet] was preaching... there commeth a doue flying towards him, & alighteth vpon his shoulder, and pidleth in his eare, looking for meate, hauing vsed her before to feede in his eare for the same purpose.
  3. (intransitive, now Southern US, often with 'with') Synonym of nibble: to pick at or toy with one's food, to eat slowly or insubstantially.
    • a. 1620, Jeremiah Dyke, Diuers Select Sermons on Seuerall Texts..., page 292:
      Diseases... that make them eate nothing at all, or else they doe but piddle and trifle.
    • 2000 May 9, Myrtle Beach Sun-News, Sect. A, p. 1:
      As about seven seniors quietly eat meat patties, mashed potatoes and canned peaches, Newberry piddles with the food.
  4. (UK, Australia, South Africa, Namibia, euphemistic slang, intransitive or reflexive) To urinate.
    • 1784, cited in Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Vol. VI, p. 128:
      Ha, ha, ha, Paddy shit in his breaches, ha, ha, ha, I shall laugh till I piddle myself.

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