Etymology
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Words related to dodder

totter (v.)
c. 1200, "swing to and fro," of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare dialectal Norwegian totra "to quiver, shake"). Meaning "stand or walk with shaky, unsteady steps" is from c. 1600. Related: Tottered; tottering.
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patter (v.1)

"make a quick succession of small taps," 1610s, frequentative of pat (v.). Related: Pattered; pattering. As a noun, "a quick succession of small sounds," by 1844. Phrase patter of tiny (or little) feet, suggestive of the presence or expectation of a child, is by 1858, in an anonymous poem, "The Patter of Little Feet."

dither (v.)

1640s, "to quake, tremble," phonetic variant of Middle English didderen (late 14c.), which is of uncertain origin. The sense of "vacillate in opinion, be indecisive" is from 1908. Related: Dithered; dithering.

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.

dandle (v.)

"to shake or move up and down in the arms or on the knee," 1520s, of unknown origin. Perhaps somehow felt to be imitative. Compare Italian dondolare "to dandle, swing," and French dandiner, from Old French dandin "small bell," imitative of its sound. Related: Dandled; dandling.

toddle (v.)
"to run or walk with short, unsteady steps," c. 1600, Scottish and northern British, of uncertain origin, possibly related to totter (1530s); an earlier sense of "to toy, play" is found c. 1500. Related: Toddled; toddling.