tar·​a·​did·​dle | \ ˌter-ə-ˈdi-dᵊl How to pronounce taradiddle (audio) , ˌta-rə-ˈdi-dᵊl, ˈter-ə-ˌdi-dᵊl, ˈta-rə-ˌdi-dᵊl \
variants: or tarradiddle

Definition of taradiddle

1 : fib
2 : pretentious nonsense

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

The true origin of taradiddle is unknown, but that doesn't mean you won't encounter a lot of balderdash about its history. Some folks try to connect it to the verb diddle (meaning "to cheat"), but that hasn’t been proven and may turn out to be poppycock. You may hear some tommyrot about it coming from the Old English verb didrian, which meant "to deceive," but that couldn’t be true unless didrian was somehow suddenly revived after eight or nine centuries of disuse. No one even knows when taradiddle was first used. It must have been long before it showed up in a 1796 dictionary of colloquial speech (where it was defined as a synonym of fib), but if we claimed we knew who said it first, we’d be dishing out pure applesauce.

Examples of taradiddle in a Sentence

his tales of adventure are peppered with tongue-in-cheek taradiddles and obvious fabrications regards literary deconstruction as so much tenure-track taradiddle
Recent Examples on the Web Some are esoteric but still used—like taradiddle, which the list notes was recently used by J.K. Rowling but saw more play in the work of Gilbert and Sullivan, Honoré de Balzac and G.K. Chesterton. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "As “Dord” Shows, Being in the Dictionary Doesn’t Always Mean Something’s a Word," 28 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taradiddle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of taradiddle

circa 1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for taradiddle

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about taradiddle

Time Traveler for taradiddle

Time Traveler

The first known use of taradiddle was circa 1796

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about taradiddle

Statistics for taradiddle

Cite this Entry

“Taradiddle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taradiddle. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on taradiddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for taradiddle

Comments on taradiddle

What made you want to look up taradiddle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!