Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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EEDLE-DODDLE, Eedle-deedle, adj., n. Also eedle-oddle (Abd.9 1942), eddle-doddle.

1. adj. Easy-going, lacking initiative, negligent, muddle-headed (n.Sc. 1911 S.D.D., -deedle; Cai. 1916 T.S.D.C. II., eddle-doddle; Bnff. and Abd. correspondents 1942). Abd. a.1880 W. Robbie Yonderton (1929) 19:
Only Maister Dronwearie was an auld man at that time, an' he was but a stupit eedle doddle kin o' a body at the best.
Abd. 1922 J. Christie in Swatches 76:
He fee't tae dae the orra wark, I think they ca'd him Dannie; Bit aft steed like a frozen sark, The eedle-doddle mannie.

2. n. A person who shows no initiative in a crisis (n.Sc. 1911 S.D.D.; Abd.7 1929); “a puddling person who concerns himself with little trifles” (Abd.8 1917, eedle-oddle).

[Reduplicative form influenced by Eng. idle. See note to Deedle-doddle.]

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"Eedle-doddle adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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