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
O Lady Lufton! have you not written a tarradiddle to your friend?
‘There is to be a little tarradiddle told, and I am to tell it?’
But I wasn't fooled by that tarradiddle about the cold.
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.
He abandoned the tarradiddle and to the measureless astonishment of the shopkeeper threw himself into an impersonation of Miss Trapp.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
A tarradiddle is what you say when you are, so to speak, took by surprise.