Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Origins - Fuddy-duddy - AND WINNERS!

YES we have winners for Judy Croome's book, Dancing in the Shadows of Love.

The print copy goes to:
Anne Gallagher at Piedmont Writer

The three ebooks go to:
M. G. Higgins
Christina Farley at Chocolate for Inspiration
Medeia Sharif

I have your emails, except for you Christina, which I will pass on to Judy so that she can get those books to you. So send me your email Christina!

Congratulations my friends! Judy and I thank all of you who visited and left a comment.

(We now return to our regularly scheduled program.)

Sometimes when I'm doing the morning crossword I run across a clue or answer that sticks with me for a day or two or three. I wonder about the history of the word or phrase. Sometimes the word will roll around in my head so much it starts to sound totally ridiculous. (I know that's happened to you.)

Such was the case recently when I ran across the word(s) fuddy-duddy. Go on (you know you want to) say it six, seven or more times in a row, fast. The letters play around on your lips and tongue in the most delightful way.

Naturally I had to look it up. A most extensive and excellent explanation was given at The Phrase Finder.

Duddy is a Scottish word meaning ragged. Fuddy, also Scottish, was a term used for buttocks. The British term duddy fuddiel means ragged fellow. What isn't clear is how fuddy and duddy got married in the U. S. and came to mean an old fashioned, narrow minded, old poop. But it did.

It seems that despite its decidedly Scottish and British origins, it is American slang. The first recorded use of the word was in 1889 in the Galveston Daily News. That's right, Texas has the honor. The quote is: "Look here; I'm Smith -- Hamilton Smith. I'm a minister and I try to do about right...I object to being represented as an old fuddy-duddy." Obviously from the way it's used the term had been around long enough for people to know what he was talking about.

We even have a famous character named after the word. Meet Elmer Fudd. Poor Elmer.

Synonyms: If you're looking for another word besides fuddy-duddy (but it's such a great word why use something else?) here's a list:
antediluvian, Colonel Blimp (picture comes to mind) conservative, dinosaur, dodo, dotard, dull person, fogy (just what the heck is a fogy?) fossil, frump, fuss pot, fussbudget (this would be interesting to explore), fussy person, granny, mossback, narrow minded, old bore, old fart, old fogy, old geezer (where did geezer come from?) old maid, old poop, old-fashioned, pain in the butt (my own addition) picayune, picky, pompous, reactionary, spoilsport, square, stick-in-the-mud (this must have a unique history) stuffed shirt and wet blanket.

Do you know a fuddy-duddy? Have one in your family? Are you a fuddy-duddy? Would you admit to being one if you were?


  1. Congratulations to the winners - and thanks for joining in the conversation!

    As soon as Bish sends me your emails I'll contact you to make arrangements to get your prize to you!

    Judy, South Africa

  2. Thanks Bish, Thanks Judith. I can't wait to read it!!! YAY!!!

    And yes, I am an old fuddy-duddy. I admit it. Although The Monster Child still tells me I'm beautiful, so I don't care.

  3. Anne I love that Monster Child tells you you're beautiful. You know my mother affectionately called me The Rotten Kid. I worked hard to live up to that title!

  4. Yay! I'm so excited to read Judy's book! Thanks to both of you.

    Fuddy duddy is such a great term. And I definitely am one at times--the picky and fussbudgety type.

  5. I love the origins of words and will admit to being a fuddy-duddy. I am also looking forward to becoming a proper old crone!

  6. I admit I can be a fuddy-duddy from time to time.

    Yay, I won. Thank you, Bish and Judy.

  7. Oh wow! This is just so exciting! I got home from Open House to such great news. Thank you!

  8. My husband loves the word fuddy-duddy. I decided when I was a kid not to be one. :) I think I've done okay, but I am conservative in certain ways, so it may depend who you're talking to.

  9. Ohhh. Now Fuddy Duddy is rolling around in my brain sounding all sorts of funny!

    Love this post. Bring on the origins!

  10. So literal Scottish translation would be ragged buttocks? hahaha. Love it!


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!