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13 Essential Literary Terms

piddling

[pid-ling] /ˈpɪd lɪŋ/
adjective
1.
amounting to very little; trifling; negligible:
a piddling sum of money.
Origin
1550-1560
1550-60; piddle + -ing2
Synonyms
trivial, insignificant, paltry, picayune.

piddle

[pid-l] /ˈpɪd l/
verb (used without object), piddled, piddling.
1.
to spend time in a wasteful, trifling, or ineffective way; dawdle (often followed by around):
He wasted the day piddling around.
2.
Informal. (especially of children and pets) to urinate.
verb (used with object), piddled, piddling.
3.
to waste (time, money, etc.); fail to utilize (usually followed by away).
Origin
1535-45; origin uncertain
Related forms
piddler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for piddling
  • He has never stopped piddling when he gets nervous or excited and as he gets older it is frustrating.
  • We ate our crackers, nuts, and other piddling snacks representing lunch.
  • He responded by naming one piddling novel that he'd remove.
  • Once every thousand entries they come across an error, a piddling five cents one way or the other.
  • These are piddling amounts compared with the gargantuan volumes of traditional polyolefins sold.
  • Workers and employers alike put piddling sums into such accounts.
  • If a country wants foreigners out they need to quit piddling around the bushes and actually do something.
  • piddling, perhaps, but it reveals character and integrity.
  • The contrived sorrows presented in the film are actually piddling idiocies.
  • When not offering piddling pyrotechnics and phony fight sequences, the movie tries desperately to be cute.
British Dictionary definitions for piddling

piddling

/ˈpɪdlɪŋ/
adjective
1.
(informal) petty; trifling; trivial
Derived Forms
piddlingly, adverb

piddle

/ˈpɪdəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (informal) to urinate
2.
when tr, often foll by away. to spend (one's time) aimlessly; fritter
Derived Forms
piddler, noun
Word Origin
C16: origin unknown
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 piddling
adj.

"insignificant, trifling," 1550s, past participle adjective from piddle (v.).

piddle

v.

1540s, "to peddle, to work in a trifling way," of uncertain origin, apparently a frequentative form. Meaning "to pick at one's food" is from 1610s; that of "urinate" is from 1796. Related: Piddled; piddler; piddling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for piddling

piddling

adjective

Meager; trivial; paltry: It was an effort, though a piddling one/ The case was ''a piddly little misdemeanor''/ Make your pissy-ass point again ( first form 1559+, second 1940s+)


piddle

noun

Urine (1901+)

verb
  1. To urinate; pee: So you piddled on the floor. But you don't have to have your face wiped in it (1796+)
  2. To waste; idle: You just piddle the day away (1545+)

[a euphemism for piss]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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13
17
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