Diddly-squat. I love that word/those words. It seems to be the perfect thing to blog about ― because yep. Sorry. Forgot it was my turn today. So having sat down to think about what I can possibly talk to you about ― other than school holidays and voodoo ― diddly-squat came to mind. It’s a bank holiday so am hopeful no-one will venture over this way, and I might just get away with it.
I think it’s the ‘diddly’ bit of it I like so much. It’s that double ‘d’ in the middle next to the ‘l’ ― diddly ― it makes your tongue do strange things and the sound is so…umm…diddly? If you have ventured over here, why? It’s a holiday. It’s the squat bit that seems to get the meaning of the word/s across. Nothing. Or in some cases, a small, worthless amount. I do think diddly-squat sounds so much better.
Despite googling, I’m still not sure from where the words (word/phrase?) originate, other than the US. According to The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang ― diddly-squat is a derivation of doodly-squat from 1934. Clicking through to the link for doodly-squat it brings up diddly-squat ― or perhaps I should say ‘nothing’ there ― other than doodly-squat possibly being a derivation of diddly-squat.
I rather like that doodly bit though. It gets me thinking of absent-minded doodles – the doodles themselves being physically worthless and achieving nothing upon the page. I can’t help but wonder if it can apply to words too? Yet, I suppose whilst absent-mindedly drawing upon the page, your mind may have reached a phenomenal breakthrough….Yet there are occasions when doodling words upon the page might just get you where you want to be. Or is that just me?
I’ve looked up doodle and doodly too. It was that or cleaning the house for the first visitors in yonks (another word with problematic derivation ― yonks, not cleaning). I could spice things up no end by telling you some of the meanings of doodle ― but it was the archaic, a foolish or silly person that hit the mark. I’ve also looked up Yankee Doodle Dandy and as a result ‘macaroni’ ― and that is interesting. Perhaps I’ll blog about that next time?
But for now, I’m going away. Not to clean but to read the wiki-answers bit about Diddly Squat once being born in a noisy inn on the outskirts of Philadelphia at 3pm one Thursday afternoon in 1732. And whilst I do, I’ll have a think about what I might come up with as a spoof source for ‘yonks.’ Donkeys will no doubt be involved…Anything, anything to avoid toilet cleaning.
You would have been so much better off had I simply opted for nothing rather than diddly-squat. Sorry. And here’s a picture of a donkey (image courtesy of free-clipart.net).