Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A petty falsehood; a fib.
  • n. Silly pretentious speech or writing; twaddle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A trivial lie.
  • n. Silly talk or writing; humbug.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fictitious account; a fib.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. pretentious or silly talk or writing
  • n. a trivial lie

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • O Lady Lufton! have you not written a tarradiddle to your friend?

    Framley Parsonage

  • ‘There is to be a little tarradiddle told, and I am to tell it?’

    John Caldigate

  • But I wasn't fooled by that tarradiddle about the cold.

    The Silicon Mage

  • The tarradiddle was not entirely lucid, since his attempts at the Spanish-Italian argot of the island consisted in speaking very loudly in pidgin-English and adding an ‘a’ after arbitrarily chosen syllables.

    Tour de Force

  • He abandoned the tarradiddle and to the measureless astonishment of the shopkeeper threw himself into an impersonation of Miss Trapp.

    Tour de Force

  • He left Rodd on guard over his wife and went down to the shop, full of a tarradiddle about an Inglese who had recommended him to buy a similar knife to one purchased that day.

    Tour de Force

  • As an example of how anything can be twisted to make mischief, I may quote here an absurd tarradiddle about Mrs. Kendal never forgetting in after years that in the Bristol stock company she had to play the singing fairy to my Titania in “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”

    The Story of My Life

  • This may quite easily be (to begin with) an entertaining tarradiddle of Sam's own invention, told, like many other even more improbable stories, solely to amuse Mr. Pickwick.

    All Things Considered

  • In vain Kettle pleaded "fo 'Gord --" always a forerunner of a tarradiddle -- that he "didn't have no notion on the blessed yearth as Miss Betty would mind," and also wept copiously when Mrs. Fortescue frankly told him that he was a tarradiddler, and made, for the hundredth time, a very awful threat to Kettle.

    Betty at Fort Blizzard

  • A tarradiddle is what you say when you are, so to speak, took by surprise.

    Girls of the Forest

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Comments

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  • What's wrong with adding a word from a Word of the Day list, pheiticeira? I don't use the Merriam Webster list, but there are others I subscribe to, and I've added a few WODs here. :-)

    December 6, 2007

  • I wonder where the hell this word came from. It sounds just like paradiddle, which as silly words go, at least makes some kind of sense. Hm.

    December 6, 2007

  • Oddly enough, I flagged tarradiddle for one of my lists before it appeared in my email today. True dinks.

    December 6, 2007

  • way to take the word from word of the day M-W.

    December 6, 2007

  • "Mr B did not tell a whopper. This was no fib, plumper, porker or tarradiddle. There was definitely no deceit, mendacity or fabrication."
    - 'Looking Back', Western Mail, 11 May 2002.

    December 6, 2007

  • # fib: a trivial lie; "he told a fib about eating his spinach"; "how can I stop my child from telling stories?"
    # baloney: pretentious or silly talk or writing

    June 15, 2007