"Fuddle", meaning sexual congress

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Sep 29 13:23:50 UTC 2007

Another additional datum:  Wikipedia claims for "fuddle duddle"

"a euphemistic substitution for "fuck" or "fuck off", whose most
famous use was by Pierre Trudeau when he was Prime Minister of Canada.

"In February 1971, a minor scandal arose when opposition MPs accused
Trudeau of having mouthed, "Fuck off," at them in the House of
Commons. When pressed by television reporters on the matter, Trudeau
denied having mouthed "Fuck off" (much less actually spoken it, or
anything at all) at the times in question, but freely admitted having
moved his lips; and he answered the question, "What were you
thinking, when you moved your lips?" by rhetorically asking, "What is
the nature of your thoughts, gentlemen, when you say 'fuddle duddle'
or something like that?" Trudeau likely took "fuddle duddle" from the
official Hansard transcript of his words for that parliamentary
session. Seemingly the Hansard reporter either read Trudeau's
lip-movements differently than the accusing MPs or read them likewise
but chose to write down the now-notorious words in their stead."

Perhaps someone should interview the Hansard transcriber: from where
did he get "fuddle duddle"?  And is his ancestry Scots?  (Although I
would simply assume that the parish "confused" -- "muddled" -- the
bell, which is how it might ring as the steeple was brought down.)


At 9/29/2007 07:07 AM, you wrote:
>There is an old Scottish song (The Terrible Parish), which includes the
>following lines:
>Oh, what a parish, a terrible parish
>Oh, what a parish is that o' Dunkel';
>They hangit their minister, droon'd their precentor,
>Dang doon the steeple and fuddled the bell.
>The OED and the Online Dictionary of the Scots Language both claim
>'fuddle' means to get drunk, both in English and in Scots (hence,
>'befuddled', which has lost its alcoholic connotation).  But I've always
>been puzzled why someone would get a bell drunk.  Still, the idea that
>they had intercourse with the bell makes no more sense...
>Just a small additional datum..
>The song, sung by Andy Stewart and Phil Cunningham, is on an old
>compilation album, Flight of the Green Linnet.
>Geoffrey S. Nathan
>Computing and Information Technology and Department of English
>Wayne State University
>Detroit, MI, 48202
>geoffnathan at wayne.edu
>C&IT Phone (313) 577-1259
>English Phone (313) 577-8621
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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