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paddle (n.)

c. 1400, padell "small, long-handled spade used to remove earth adhering to a plow," probably from Medieval Latin padela, a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from Latin patella "small pan, little dish, plate," diminutive of patina (see pan (n.)). Meaning "short oar with a wide blade" (or two, one at each end) is from 1620s. As an instrument used for beating clothes (and slaves, and schoolboys), it is recorded from 1828, American English. As "fin-like forelimb of a sea creature," by 1835. Paddle-ball is attested from 1935.

paddle (v.1)

"to dabble, wade in water," 1520s, probably cognate with Low German paddeln "tramp about," frequentative of padjen "to tramp, to run in short steps," from the source of  pad (v.). Related: Paddled; paddling. Meaning "to move in water by means of paddles" is a different word (see paddle (v.3)).

paddle (v.2)

"to beat with a paddle, spank with the open hand or with some flat object," by 1856, from paddle (n.). Related: Paddled; paddling.

paddle (v.3)

"to move in water by means of paddles," 1670s, from paddle (n.). To paddle one's (own) canoe "do for oneself make one's way by one's own exertions," is from 1828, American English.

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Definitions of paddle from WordNet
1
paddle (v.)
propel with a paddle;
paddle your own canoe
paddle (v.)
play in or as if in water, as of small children;
Synonyms: dabble / splash around
paddle (v.)
swim like a dog in shallow water;
paddle (v.)
walk unsteadily;
Synonyms: toddle / coggle / totter / dodder / waddle
paddle (v.)
give a spanking to; subject to a spanking;
Synonyms: spank / larrup
paddle (v.)
stir with a paddle;
2
paddle (n.)
small wooden bat with a flat surface; used for hitting balls in various games;
paddle (n.)
a blade of a paddle wheel or water wheel;
paddle (n.)
an instrument of punishment consisting of a flat board;
paddle (n.)
a short light oar used without an oarlock to propel a canoe or small boat;
Synonyms: boat paddle
From wordnet.princeton.edu