Guddle

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Guddle is a North Country English and Scots dialect word with various meanings, depending on where it is used.

  • As a verb: to tickle the belly of a trout, thereby making it easily caught with the hands. (Like the old advice about salting a bird’s tail as an aid to catching it, there is no mention of the fact that if the trout stays still long enough to allow one to tickle its belly, then surely it is amenable to being picked up in the hands.)
  • As a noun: a state of confusion or untidiness. (“I’m afraid the place is a bit of a guddle at the moment – both office assistants are off with the flu.”)
  • As a verb describing the habit of swans and some wading birds of turning over small rocks and debris on the bottom of shallow lakes and streams looking for things edible. (In this context, by extension, it can mean to fossick or delve for something interesting, informative or enjoyable through a drawer, box, or pages of a book.
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