Last night I heard the word moider for the first time and was slightly puzzled by what it meant. From the context – a friend was talking about moidering around with his mates – I guessed it meant to mess/muck about, and I wondered whether it’s related to the word mither, which is used in Cheshire, Lancashire and perhaps elsewhere and means ‘to bother’, e.g. stop mithering me!.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, mither /ˈmʌɪðə/ is a dialect word, used mainly in Northern English meaning:
1. to make a fuss; moan: oh men — don’t they mither?
2. to pester or irritate (someone).
Etymology: dates from late 17th century and is of unknown origin; perhaps related to the Welsh moedrodd (to worry, bother). Other possibile origins are the Welsh words meidda (to beg for whey) or meiddio (to dare) [source].
I can’t find any other references to moedrodd, but Y Geiriadur Mawr has mwydro, and variants moedro and moidro, which mean ‘to bewilder’.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary defines moider as ‘to toil’.
The World English Dictionary defines moither or moider (ˈmɔɪðə, ˈmɔɪdə) as:
1. to bother or bewilder
2. to talk in a rambling or confused manner
The Century Dictionary defines moider as:
1. To confuse; perplex; distract; bewilder.
2. To spend in labor.
3. To labor hard; toil.
Have you heard of moider or mither before?