Sometimes, on a good day, I would go upstairs with my duster and footle around the parlor, adjusting paintings and straightening cushions, knocking them into shape with such military precision that even my mother would have saluted them.
-- Marion McGilvary, A Lost Wife's Tale: A Novel
I say, Charlie, for any sake do play up tomorrow, and don't footle.
-- Rose Macaulay, Abbots Verney: a novel
Footle has an uncertain origin. One candidate is the French se foutre, to care nothing." Another possibility is the Dutch vochtig, "damp or musty."