"Fuddle", meaning sexual congress

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Sep 29 15:09:28 UTC 2007

Says here they "drucken" the bell, which makes even less sense to me, "drucken" being, AFAIK, an adjective only.



Geoff Nathan <geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Geoff Nathan
Subject: Re: "Fuddle", meaning sexual congress

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

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

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