Now, I’m not telling a taradiddle when I say that this is a strange-sounding, strange-looking word. I found it in a slideshow from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary called “Funny-Sounding and Interesting Words.” Taradiddle certainly fits the bill for “An Interesting Word” post!
Just what IS a taradiddle? No, it’s not a fish or a tropical fruit or a type of weather system. It’s a British term (the Brits get all the awesome words! 😉 ) meaning “a fib” or “pretentious nonsense.” In both cases it’s used as a noun. Its first known use was in a 1796 dictionary. Some have tried to claim it comes from the old English verb “diddle,” meaning to cheat, but no one’s been able to prove that. If someone tells you that they know the true history of the word taradiddle, you can tell them that they’re telling you a taradiddle! 🙂 Authors such as G.K. Chesterton and George Orwell are well-known users of this word.
You can learn more about taradiddle from Merriam-Webster’s word of the day podcast: