Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
December 12th, 2014
Episode 43 of 718 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 12, 2014 is: flapdoodle \FLAP-doo-dul\ noun : nonsense Examples: "Not a trace of academic fustian! Not a line of flapdoodle! Not a hint of college professor! Here was sharp and shrewd judgment." H. L. Mencken, The Smart Set, June 1917 "Chalk that up to the triumphrare enough these daysof facts over flapdoodle." Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2013 Did you know? Combining the letters f, d, and l is a great formula for creating funny wordswitness folderol, fiddlesticks, fandangle, flamdoodle, flummadiddle, and fiddledeedee. To ascribe pedigreed origins to any of those silly syllables would be fiddle-faddle. Flapdoodle certainly can't claim high-flown ancestors. Like many of its nonsensical fellows listed above, it most likely originated as an alteration of some other absurd word (fadoodle is a candidate), but its exact origins are unknown.