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fuddle (liquor) +‎ cap (head); compare madcap.


fuddlecap (plural fuddlecaps)

  1. (obsolete) Someone who drinks alcoholic beverages too freely.[1][2] [17th—19th centuries.]
    • 1666, S.W., “A Paraphrase upon the first Ode” in The Poems of Horace consisting of Odes, Satyres, and Epistles, rendred in English verse by several persons, London: Henry Brome, p. 3,[3]
      The Fuddlecap, whose God’s the Vyne,
      Lacks not the Sun if he have Wine;
    • 1700, Edward Ward, A Journey to Hell, or, A Visit Paid to the Devil, London, Part 2, Canto 8, p. 23,[4]
      The num’rous throng of Fuddle-Caps, that here
      Promiscuously before the Bar appear,
      On others ruine have themselves enrich’d,
      And with their charming Juice the World bewitch’d.
    • 1728, Thomas Woolston, A Fourth Discourse on the Miracles of our Saviour, London: for the author, p. 33,[5]
      [] it is a broken and witless Sentence, such as Fuddlecaps utter by halves, when the Wine’s in, and the Wit’s out.
    • 1840, William Mudford, Stephen Dugard, London: R. Bentley, Volume 1, Chapter 11, p. 122,[6]
      [] Here, fuddle-cap,” he continued, giving her some brandy, “drink, and then tell me the best news you have [] .”



  1. ^ B.E., A New Dictionary of the Canting Crew, London: W. Hawes et al., 1699, “Fuddle-cap, a Drunkard.”[1]
  2. ^ Francis Grose, A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, London: S. Hooper, 1785, p. 68, “fuddle cap, a drunkard.”[2]