Who's diddling and how?

Marc Velasco marcjvelasco at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 14 15:03:32 UTC 2008

Must one conclude that a language is always behind in describing the
activities which enable its persistence?

On Mon, Jul 14, 2008 at 10:56 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Who's diddling and how?
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> <font size=3>At 7/13/2008 08:13 PM, ronbutters at AOL.COM wrote:<br>
> <blockquote type=cite class=cite cite="">It seems fair to conclude that
> "diddle" means 'fuck'--one could substitute "fuck" in
> all of these uses and the meaning would be
> uunchanged.</font></blockquote><br>
> Perhaps one could substitute "fuck" and get an understandable
> meaning -- but it might be different..  I go for both 2.a. and
> 2.b.  My first assumption to hearing "diddle" is
> masturbate, probably from my callow youth in the 1950s.  Any mix of
> genders, in either role; and "he/she diddled" or "diddled
> him/herself" for the solo situation.  In 1 (glazier), I change
> my assumption when hearing the rest of the sentence.<br><br>
> "Diddle" = 'masturbate' can fit 3 (gerbil) and 5; perhaps even
> 4.<br><br>
> Joel<br><br>
> <br>
> <blockquote type=cite class=cite cite=""><font size=3>Sent from my
> Verizon Wireless BlackBerry<br><br>
> -----Original Message-----<br>
> From: Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM<lt%3Bgogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> ><br><br>
> Date:         Sat, 12 Jul 2008
> 14:15:20<br>
> Subject:      [ADS-L] Who's diddling and
> how?<br><br>
> <br>
> Just as a forewarning, there are some pretty X-rated citations
> below.<br><br>
> The AHD4's definitions of diddle include:<br><br>
> 1. to jerk up and down or back and forth<br>
> 2. vulgar slang<br>
> a. to have intercourse with (a woman)<br>
> b. to practice masturbation upon<br><br>
> My concern is  the relevance of "(a woman)". Generally, I
> take this<br>
> sort of definition to be a remnant of older heterocentrist
> definitions<br>
> and intended to mean "to play the active part in sexual
> intercourse",<br>
> but it seems that not even that is adequate:<br><br>
> -----<br>
> The Ball of Kirriemuir
> (<a href="http://www.turoks.net/Bordello/TheBallOfKirriemuir.htm"
> eudora="autourl">
> http://www.turoks.net/Bordello/TheBallOfKirriemuir.htm</a>) provides 17
> examples of diddle:<br><br>
> 1. The village glazier he was there, with his prick of glass<br>
> He diddled 'em in their cunnys, and also in the ass!<br><br>
> 1. the ladies wouldna have 'em, so they diddled dogs and trees!<br><br>
> 2. The old fishmonger he was there, a dirty stinkin sod<br>
> He never got a rise that night, so he diddled 'em with a cod!<br><br>
> 3. Clan MacChluarain they were there, chasin' round the Keep<br>
> And every single man of them buggerin' a sheep!<br><br>
> (insert name) had a gerbil, he diddled it very well<br>
> He didn't wrap it in duct tape: he blew it all to hell!<br><br>
> 4. (Insert name), she was there, and she is past eighteen;<br>
> She is a rapier fighter, so she diddled Florentine!<br><br>
> 5. Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean,<br>
> So she did the Fubba-Wubbas, while he diddled a Marine...!<br>
> -----<br><br>
> I think this covers just about every male/female/animal pairing<br>
> possibility, demonstrating that diddle is not limited to just a man<br>
> having intercourse with a woman. And Wiktionary agrees, saying
> "to<br>
> have sex with".<br><br>
> -----<br>
> Also, in Letters to Penthouse X
> (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/6feo6h" eudora="autourl">
> http://tinyurl.com/6feo6h</a>, page 131,<br>
> 2000), there's "cockhead...as she diddled her clit with it."
> While<br>
> this appears more related to definition 1 than 2, there are these as<br>
> well, which hint to the development of definitions 2 from 1:<br><br>
> 6. She diddled herself [with a baster].<br>
> (The Sperm in Amy Lowe's Frig, by Roberta Price,
> <a href="http://www.prisoners.com/amysperm.html" eudora="autourl">
> http://www.prisoners.com/amysperm.html</a>)<br><br>
> 7. As she diddled herself with a candle,<br>
> (Street of the thousand assholes,
> http://www.odps.org/glossword/index.php?a=term&d=5&t=143)<br>
> ------<br><br>
> I have trouble understanding what definition 2b actually means. Does<br>
> this mean to masturbate and ejaculate on someone? Do you "diddle
> on/<br>
> upon" someone? I think this is what Danny Glover's character did
> in<br>
> _The Color Purple_ instead of sex, though Whoopi Goldberg's
> character<br>
> called it "his business".<br><br>
> Wiktionary says "to masturbate (especially of women)".<br><br>
> Google has only a few hits for "he diddled on". Of the three
> citations<br>
> that seem relevant, only one is available:<br><br>
> 1. He diddled on the ground and, at long last, looked up and said:
> let<br>
> him who has not sinned be the first to cast the first stone at the<br>
> sinner.<br>
> I assume he's talking about Onan here, though in the text, Jesus is<br>
> the antecedent of "he". (What Should be Africans Attitude to
> Americans<br>
> War on Terror by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, 19 Oct 2006
> <a href="http://tinyurl.com/5jxlbq" eudora="autourl">
> http://tinyurl.com/5jxlbq</a>)<br><br>
> Okay, no more diddling around. Back to work!<br>
> BB<br><br>
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