One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verbRegional, New England, US
1with object To fiddle or play about with.
2no object To quibble or cavil about insignificant details; to fuss; (also) to busy oneself with unimportant matters or trivial tasks; to fritter away time.
Mid 16th century (in an earlier sense). Origin uncertain, perhaps an expressive formation; compare -le, and also earlier twiddle, fiddle, piddle, etc.
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