[Ads-l] Antedating of paradiddle, dating of diddle

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 30 11:16:00 UTC 2015

paradiddle, n., OED: 1891

Here's 1835 para-diddles and an 1861 paradiddle, drum patterns.

The 1835 also has diddle. n., which isn't in the OED in this sense.

(The 1835 also has flam-para-diddle, not in OED, but flam is 1796.)


Asterisks indicate *italics* in the original. The letter is about a book
called Infantry Tactics by Authority.

Army and Navy Chronicle, Volume 1, No. 30, 23rd July 1835, page 240:

We almost forgot to make mention of a very important part of vol. I., (with
three titles,) we mean the music. Of this, there are about twenty pages,
and of its excellence we can speak with assurance, *knowing that Lucchesi*,
the famous leader of the West Point military band, had a hand on the

Some omissions in the different beats, such as the *diddles* and
*para-diddles*, to say nothing of the *flam-para-diddles*, shall be
attended to in future. So soon as we get through all the titles, and
studied "a little" the music for the bugle, you may hear from us again.

Yours, Mr. Editor,
14th *July*, 1835. YOUNG FOGRAM.

Google Books full view:


1st August 1861, The Art Journal, page 229: "Artists and Their Models, by
Walter Thornbury. No .3--Hogarth and the Little Drummer":

Well, sir, I was kept a year at the long roll, ' daddy mammy ' we call it ;
then I learnt the ten stroke rolls, the close flams, the drag, and the

" The what ?"

" The paradiddle. Then by degrees I went on to the ' retreat,' that is
played at gun-fire, when we shut the barrack gates, or form pickets.

He sits down at a table with a pair of sticks, and I sit opposite to him
with another pair, sir. Then he begins with a five-stroke roll; two right
hand, two left, even and true, and so it comes, sir. But the flam and
paradiddle are cruel hard, sir, and so is the double tap-too."

Two full view copies in Google Books:



The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list