Fudge and flapdoodle!

Flapdoodle Dinghy

Another interesting word I came across this week is flapdoodle /flæpˈduːd(ə)l/, which the OED defines as ‘the stuff they feed fools on’, which comes from the following quote:

‘The gentleman has eaten no small quantity of flapdoodle in his lifetime.’ ‘What’s that, O’Brien?’ replied I… ‘Why, Peter,’ rejoined he, ‘it’s the stuff they feed fools on.’

Another example of use of this word is the exclamation ‘Fudge and flapdoodle!’, which I think sounds wonderfully silly, and is possible alternative to stronger exclamations.

Flapdoodle is also ‘nonsense, bosh and humbug; a trifling thing or gewgaw’, and has been used as a verb meaning ‘to talk nonsense’.

The etymology given in the OED is that it is ‘an arbitrary formation’, similar to fadoodle (something foolish or ridiculous; nonsense).

There is also a tiny, folding sailing dinghy called the flapdoodle dinghy (pictured top right).

Do you know any similarly silly words with a similar meaning?

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This entry was posted in English, Language, Words and phrases.

One Response to Fudge and flapdoodle!

  1. Magnus says:

    I first became aware of the word “flapdoodle” through the wonderful TV series Bagpuss (a staple of my childhood), in which one of the characters (Professor Yaffle) used it in the wonderful phrase “fiddlesticks and flapdoodle”. It definitely appeared in the mouse mill episode (as part of the exclamation “fiddlesticks and flapdoodle – you can’t make chocolate biscuits out of breadcrumbs and butterbeans”). I can’t remember whether he used it at other times.