footling

[foot-ling]
adjective Informal.
1.
foolish; silly: ridiculous, footling remarks.
2.
trifling or useless.

Origin:
1895–1900; footle + -ing2

Dictionary.com Unabridged

footle

[foot-l] Informal.
verb (used without object), footled, footling.
1.
to act or talk in a foolish or silly way.
noun
2.
nonsense; foolishness; silliness.

Origin:
1890–95; origin uncertain; cf. footy

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
footle (ˈfuːtəl)
 
vb (often foll by around or about)
1.  to loiter aimlessly; potter
2.  to talk nonsense
 
n
3.  rare foolishness
 
[C19: probably from French foutre to copulate with, from Latin futuere]

footling (ˈfuːtlɪŋ)
 
adj
informal silly, trivial, or petty

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

footle
"to trifle," 1892, from dial. footer "to trifle," footy "mean, paltry" (1752), probably from Fr. se foutre "to care nothing," from O.Fr. foutre "to fuck," from L. futuere, originally "to strike, thrust" (cf. confute). But O.E.D. derives the Eng. dial. words from foughty (1600), from Du. vochtig or Dan.
fugtig "damp, musty;" related to fog.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
With the news of the kidnapping spread in headlines across the country, it seemed a footling gesture.
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