strip "pididdle," anyone?

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Wed Mar 6 16:30:47 UTC 2002

Old dInIs has heard /r-ful forms, just like young Lynn. How to spell
a lax vowel (which, in my /f/ environment, after a fricative and
before a stop, may actually devoice or disappear) in a "nonwritten"
item is an interesting question. When I stress every syllable, I get
an "uh" (the vowel of "nut") in the first syllable. No help for the
spelling at all.


>At 11:30 AM +0000 3/6/02, Lynne Murphy wrote:
>>--On Tuesday, March 5, 2002 9:39 pm -0500 Richard Gage <rgage at INTRAH.ORG>
>>>PIDIDDLE: a car with one functioning headlight.  Also, a roadtrip game
>>>rewards the player who spots the pididdle first.  In my father's day,
>>>the winner
>>>got a kiss.  But these days, there's a variant called "strip pididdle."
>>>"pididdle" be in the OED?
>>To me, this was 'perdiddle' (western NY state).  I never saw it spelt, but
>>we did pronounce it with a distinct 'r' in my family.  I knew variations
>>with kisses (suggested by my parents) and punches (practiced by my
>>brothers).  By this time (mid-70s) 'punch-bug' was around too.
>I'm pretty sure I only ever heard "padiddle" in the Rochester of the
>early 1960's, no -r-.  Maybe the rhotic version recalled by young
>Lynne represents a reanalysis of us old-timers' original.  If you
>were a young man walking with a young woman and called "padiddle"
>first after spotting the one-eyed car, you were indeed entitled to a
>kiss, at least in principle.  I heartily endorse the concept of strip
>padiddle, but I don't think the era or the climate would have been
>favorable to its development in my Rochester years.
>On the spelling:  the "padiddle" version corresponds to my underlying
>orthographic form, but I admit I didn't often see it in print; if I
>did, it would have been in some obscure short fiction piece, and I'm
>pretty sure it would have had the "padiddle" form, or I'd have been
>struck by the anomaly.  FWIW, google's "padiddles" outnumber its
>"pididdles" 220-73, but I didn't check to see if all the hits are
>relevant ones.

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