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† boodle, n.2

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps a variant or alteration of another lexical item. Or perhaps formed within English, by blending. Etymons: noodle n.1; booby n.1
Etymology: Origin uncertain.
Perhaps an alteration of noodle n.1, or perhaps a blend of booby n.1 and noodle n.1
Perhaps compare the following quots., depreciatively characterizing members of Boodle's, a gentlemen's club founded in London in 1762, as particularly stupid or foolish:
1841   C. G. F. Gore Cecil, Peer I. ix. 252   It was poor Mereworth's small talk which enlightened me to the truth of the three St. James's Street degrees of comparative dulness,—‘stupid,—damned stupid, and a Boodle.’ Now, Lord Mereworth was of Boodle's!
1858   Sat. Rev. 6 Mar. 236/1   A political opponent once classed the members of a highly respectable Club under the three heads of—fools, d—d fools, and old Boodleites.
N.E.D. (1887) gives the pronunciation as (bū·d'l) /ˈbuːd(ə)l/.
Obsolete. slang.

  A stupid or silly person; a fool, an idiot.

1862   C. Kingsley Water-babies v, in Macmillan's Mag. Dec. 96/1   A good many people..have seen all the world, and yet remain little better than blokes and boodles after all.
a1888   B. Campbell Fairfax iv. in America's Lost Plays (1941) XIX. 184   There she is, talking to that young boodle Wagstaff.

1862—a1888(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, September 2018).