Advertisement

diddle (v.)

a set of more or less unrelated meanings that have gathered around a suggestive sound: From 1806 as "to cheat, swindle" (slang); also dialectal duddle, diddle "to totter" (1630s); "move rapidly up and down or backward and forward" (1786). Meaning "waste time" is recorded from 1825. Meaning "to have sex with" is from 1879; that of "to masturbate" (especially of women) is from 1950s. Related: Diddled; diddler; diddling.