early 14c., frequentative or diminutive of O.E. pudd
"ditch," related to Ger. pudeln
"to splash in water" (cf. poodle
). Originally used of pools and ponds as well. The verb "to dabble in water, poke in mud" (mid-15c.) led to sense in iron manufacture of "to turn and stir (molten iron) in a furnace."