Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DOODLE, DOUDLE, Dowdle, v. and n. [′dudəl Sc., but Rxb. ′dʌud-]

1. v. To dandle (a child) (Kcb.1 1940; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., dowdle); to lull (a child) to sleep. Sc. 1769  D. Herd Sc. Songs (1776) II. 203:
I have an auld wife to my mither, Will doudle it [baby] on her knee.
Sc. 1819  Edb. Mag. (June) 526:
An' he was tane to Craignethan's hall, An' doudlit on his knee.
Edb. 1843  J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie's Wallet 207–8:
His greatest joy was to see her . . . doodling me on her knee.
Ayr. 1787  Burns Bonie Dundee (Cent. ed.) i.:
Aft has he doudl'd me up on his knee.
Dmf. 1899  J. Shaw in Country Schoolmaster (ed. Wallace) 369:
Doodling sleepless weans.

2. n. Something dandled: (1) a (spoiled) pet; (2) a small bundle (Bnff.2 Abd.2 1940). Dim. doodlie. (1) Ags. 1940 17 :
“Yer makkin a doodle o' that bairn”: said to a mother who was dandling her infant.
Edb. 1876  J. Smith Archie and Bess 64:
Mother Jeanie (lifting up a braw fat sonsy bairn frae his cradlie-ba' . . .) . . . a sweet barley-sugar doodle o' delight.
(2) Abd. 1928 15 :
Wi' a wee doodlie in her oxter.

[Prob., like Diddle, v.1, and Doddle, v., of onomat. origin.]

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"Doodle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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