Have you ever wondered what the phrase "didly squat" means? Have you ever wondered what the phrase "didly squat" means?
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    Have you ever wondered what the phrase "didly squat" means?
from jyarb  
9/26/2010 3:20:27 PM

Rated:

 I've wondered about the origin of a lot of phrases and words. One is 'diddly squat" as in "He didn't no diddly squat." So I looked it up:


"Having conducted extensive research into diddly, diddle, doodle, dawdle and several similar red herrings, I have come to the conclusion that it's just excrement. Wait, don't go! I mean, literally, that's what diddly-squat means. The earliest (1934) form of this expression was doodly-squat. The word squat came to English in the 15th century from the Old French se quatir meaning "to crouch". As squatting is involved in the performance of a certain bodily function*, squat was occasionally used as a euphemistic substitute, as in: "That boy don't know squat about baseball." (* Please excuse me mincing my words in this manner. I'm trying to hang on to our Cyber-Moms award.)


The use of doodle here is clearly distinct from its standard meaning of "an aimless or casual scribble" and is probably best understood as an expanded form of doo-doo, an infantile word for squat (see above). So, why was doodly/diddly added to squat? We can only speculate. It could be that, in addition to reinforcing the meaning of squat, it also renders the expression humorously euphonious.


Didn't know I had been using profanity when I used this phrase.


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   man Jyarb, you must be like me today from RJR  9/26/2010 3:32:24 PM
 bored to death. Trying to watch the Cardinals play a meaningless game, at least they are beating the chubs, and getting ready to watch the male sheep lose to the Redskins. Sort of kicking myself in the butt for not going fishing today. First really cold front of the fall rolled through yesterday. Today it is in the 50's and cloudy. I am sure they would have crushed a buzzer today!


   You are right RJR from jyarb  9/26/2010 7:57:51 PM
 After watching Alabama and Auburn win yesterday, today is sort of dull. Raining here too. I've always wondered about the origin of a lot of the nonsense words and phrases we use. Found some pretty interesting stuff when I looked up the above.


My thinking on the term "diddly squat" was that the BCS poll guys voting for Boise State as number 1 or even in the top 5 don't know didly squat about football. May have to wait to the bowl games for that to be proved or disproved.


   I kinew from Elroy  9/27/2010 7:06:52 AM
 it had some kind of scatological meaning.


   it describes tech and georgia football this year from Beartrap   9/27/2010 9:08:53 AM
 the way we are playing,tech and awbarn might be only two teams we can beat.....

Beartrap
   The Dawgs are losing team members from PPEN  9/27/2010 9:28:44 AM
 at about the same rate as the Gators. It seems them young football players just don't hold their liquor very well. Or maybe they just can't hide their drunken conditin as well as us more experienced folks. Who knows.


   John Brown?? from 1SG  9/27/2010 9:39:50 AM
 I remember hearing people say john brown this and john brown that.


I think john brown had something to do with the revolutionary war era but not sure, any of you old guys remember that era?


   John Brown was an abolishionist... from Gridleak  9/27/2010 10:22:58 AM
  ...


during the period leading up to the American Civil War. He lead raids in Kansas and Missouri, but what really earned his name a place among American slang/swear words, originating in the south, was his raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia (later West Virginia).


Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee was called back off of leave along with Lt. J. E. B. Stuart to end the insurection. John Brown was captured, tried for treason, convicted and hanged.


Gridleak

Edited 9/27/2010 11:53:55 AM


   You are just 2 wars off 1SG from jyarb  9/27/2010 10:26:15 AM
 PPen may have been around at that time, but not us. There are about 40 million old movies about John Brown and his raid on Harper's Ferry and his role in helping start the Civil War. Some picture him as a mad man and some as a hero. I sort of go with the mad man view. He was a devout abolitionist.


On the southern side of the Civil War, there are about as many movies about Quantrill's Raiders. Some picture him as good, others as bad. Have to go with bad for him also. Movies distort history so much it's hard to know fact from fiction.


   Speaking of which, while it was the event of the raid... from Gridleak  9/27/2010 12:35:39 PM
 ...


on Harper's Ferry that lead to "John Brown it" as a swear phrase, it is those events that also lead upto the division of Virginia into Virginia and West Virginia. Which lead to the other famous southern swear phrase, taken from the justification of west Virginia's rights as in "If Virginia can seceed from the Union, then by GOD we can seceed from Virginia", one arrives at "West by God Virginia".


Gridleak


   John Brown's true legacy are these words, written on the day of his hanging. from hvacstar  9/27/2010 1:15:47 PM
 

"I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood"...Never have more prophetic words been penned. Brown was hanged on December 2, 1859 at 11:15 am and placed in a wooden coffin with the noose still around his neck. Stonewall Jackson, and Walt Whitman were in attendance. Also there was John Wilkes Booth.


   John Wilkes Booth was also here. from hvacstar  9/27/2010 1:24:15 PM
 

March 4, 1865. Lincoln's Second Inauguration. He is along the wall in the top row, right of center. Booth was in Ford's Theatre 0n April 14, 1865...


   Darn, Jeff, you sound like you were there at the time. from PPEN  9/27/2010 4:37:03 PM
 I was late arriving but sure never saw you there. Woulda been on time but the horse threw a shoe and made us late. The wife was madder than a wet hen cause she wanted to see the opening ceremony.


Jeff, you best behave, young feller.


Old PPEN


   I wish I was there from 1SG  9/28/2010 12:03:03 PM
 Back in them days a man's handshake was his word. Men would stand up for their rights and there was no such thing as politically correct. Oh and 1 more thing there was no same sex marriage.


   1SG, maybe I am goofy headed but I think we still from PPEN  9/29/2010 4:50:11 PM
 live in a society which embraces the concept of business with a handshake. Staying away from the big box stores and the internet (and car dealers) I believe leaves a whole host of honest people whose handshake is their bond. I don't know if I am a magnet for honest people but my experience has been very positive. I have found folks who have tried to cheat me but these have seemingly been easy to identify and protect my self from.


I'm sorry more folks have not had this experience.


Paul


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