Words at Play : Funny-Sounding and Interesting Words

#4: Taradiddle

Definition:

1 : a fib 2 : pretentious nonsense

Example:

"'We haven't got time to listen to more taradiddles, I'm afraid, Dumbledore.'" — Cornelius Fudge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling, 2004

About the Word:

There is a myth that taradiddle was born in the town of Taradiddle, Ireland; that itself is a taradiddle, because there is no such town.

We don't know where taradiddle (also spelled tarradiddle) comes from, but we do know that the word has been a favorite of writers ranging from Balzac to Trollope to G. K. Chesterton. Lyricist W. S. Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) used it in two operas.

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