1 : a trivial or childish lie : fib
2 : pretentious nonsense
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 (one meaning of which is "to swindle or cheat"), but that connection hasn't been proven and may turn out to be poppycock. You may even hear some tommyrot about this particular sense of diddle 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 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, and when, we'd be dishing out pure applesauce.
"The time came when she not only told her taradiddle about having 'hunted quite a lot,' she even came near believing it." — George Orwell, Burmese Days, 1934
"As truths go, the history of Miss Rossiter she had laid out was unimpressive: a forked-tongue taraddidle of the highest order and if I were to serve it up to Hardy and be found out afterwards I should be lucky to escape arrest, if not a smack on the legs with a hairbrush for the cheek of it." — Catriona McPherson, Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains, 2009
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