Instantly there flashes to mind the image of a carpet salesman in the Istanbul bazaar trying to wheedle me into his stall.
Many times he would approach a patient and wheedle his great head under the patient's hand.
"to influence by flattery," 1660s, perhaps connected with Old English wædlian "to beg" (from wædl "poverty"), or borrowed by English soldiers in the 17c. German wars from German wedeln "wag the tail," hence "fawn, flatter" (cf. adulation).