late 13c., from Old English fiðelere "fiddler" (fem. fiðelestre), agent noun from fiddle (v.). Similar formation in Dutch vedelaar, German Fiedler, Danish fidler. Fiddler's Green "sailor's paradise" first recorded 1825, nautical slang. Fiddler crab is from 1714; it is also called the calling crab from the way it brandishes its larger claw when disturbed, as if beckoning.
updated on September 16, 2017