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Influenced by dawdle, from German dudeln (to play (the bagpipe)), from dudel (a bagpipe), from Czech or Polish dudy (a bagpipe).

The word doodle first appeared in the early 17th century to mean a fool or simpleton. German variants of the etymon include Dudeltopf, Dudentopf, Dudenkopf, Dude and Dödel. American English dude may be a derivation of doodle.

The meaning "fool, simpleton" is intended in the song title "Yankee Doodle", originally sung by British colonial troops prior to the American Revolutionary War. This is also the origin of the early eighteenth century verb to doodle, meaning "to swindle or to make a fool of". The modern meaning emerged in the 1930s either from this meaning or from the verb "to dawdle", which since the seventeenth century has had the meaning of wasting time or being lazy.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈduː.dəl/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːdəl


doodle (plural doodles)

  1. (obsolete) A fool, a simpleton, a mindless person.
    • 1764, Samuel Foote, The Mayor of Garrett, W. Lowndes (1797), page 43:
      Mrs. Sneak. Why doodle! jackanapes! harkee, who am I?
      Sneak. Come, don't go to call names: am I? vhy my vife, and I am your master.
    • 1812, "THE TEARS OF SIR VICARY!!!", The Scourge, 2 March 1812, page 231:
      Perceval. Weep on! weep on! thou flouted loon,
      Weep on! weep on! thou gowky doodle!
    • 1837, "Carmen Inaugurale", Tait's Edinburgh Magazine, November 1837, page 676:
      Courtier, it was thine to bow —
      Great Arthur he, and Doodle thou!
  2. A small mindless sketch, etc.
  3. (slang, sometimes childish) Penis.
    • 1993, Patti Walkuski, No Bed of Roses: Memoirs of a Madam, Wakefield Press (1993), →ISBN, page 189:
      His doodle hung as limp as last month's celery.
    • 1996, Jane Bonander, Winter Heart, Pocket Star Books (1996), →ISBN, page 43:
      Her favorite had been when she'd convinced the lascivious guards that Dinah's red hair meant she was a witch, and if they molested her, their doodles would shrivel up between their legs and fall off. Daisy had assured her that no man would risk losing his doodle.
    • 2011, Lexi George, Demon Hunting in Dixie, Brava Books (2011), →ISBN, unnumbered page:
      All of Dwight's parts wandered, especially his doodle. He had the wandering-est doodle in three states. His doodle had its own set of legs. His doodle was hardly at home. Heck, according to rumor Dwight Farris's doodle was hardly ever in his pants.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:doodle.


Derived termsEdit


See alsoEdit


doodle (third-person singular simple present doodles, present participle doodling, simple past and past participle doodled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To draw or scribble aimlessly.
    The bored student doodled a submarine in his notebook.
  2. (Scotland) To drone like a bagpipe.




doodle m (plural doodles)

  1. doodle