1690s, from Middle English sidlyng (early 14th century), as side + -lyng (frequentative suffix) (modern English side + -le (frequentative suffix)).
sidle (plural sidles)
- A sideways movement.
- A furtive advance.
sidle (third-person singular simple present sidles, present participle sidling, simple past and past participle sidled)
- To move sideways.
- To advance in a furtive, coy or unobtrusive manner.
1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter VIII:
At an early point in these exchanges I had started to sidle to the door, and I now sidled through it, rather like a diffident crab on some sandy beach trying to avoid the attentions of a child with a spade.
To advance in a furtive, coy or unobtrusive manner
- ^ “sidle” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.