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Denotation vs. Connotation

footling

[foo t-ling] /ˈfʊt lɪŋ/
adjective, Informal.
1.
foolish; silly:
ridiculous, footling remarks.
2.
trifling or useless.
Origin of footling
1895-1900
1895-1900; footle + -ing2

footle

[foo t-l] /ˈfʊt 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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for footling
Historical Examples
  • Seems as if everything were too small and footling to matter.

    Notwithstanding Mary Cholmondeley
  • Only a couple of days ago I was compelled to take him off a case because his handling of it was so footling.

    Right Ho, Jeeves P. G. Wodehouse
  • But he must do this, his very first job, absolutely correctly, and without any bungling and footling.

    Cupid in Africa P. C. Wren
  • For the life of me, I can't see why we should carry these footling little nations on our shoulders.

  • I wouldn't lose this day at Pompeii for a shipload of footling schoolmasters.

    Captivity M. Leonora Eyles
  • Are you sure that would be worse than living with a man she did love, if he was a footling person?

    Heartbreak House George Bernard Shaw
  • "I s'pose we'll just keep on footling about here till the blooming war's over," he growled.

    Commander Lawless V.C. Rolf Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for footling

footling

/ˈfuːtlɪŋ/
adjective
1.
(informal) silly, trivial, or petty

footle

/ˈfuːtəl/
verb (intransitive)
1.
often foll by around or about. to loiter aimlessly; potter
2.
to talk nonsense
noun
3.
(rare) foolishness
Word Origin
C19: probably from French foutre to copulate with, from Latin futuere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for footling

footle

v.

"to trifle," 1892, from dialectal footer "to trifle," footy "mean, paltry" (1752), perhaps from French se foutre "to care nothing," from Old French foutre "to copulate with," from Latin futuere, originally "to strike, thrust" (cf. confute). But OED derives the English dialect words from foughty (c.1600), from Dutch vochtig or Danish fugtig "damp, musty;" related to fog (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
15
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