Scottish word of the day: Guddle

A bedroom in a 'bit of a guddle'. Picture: Daniel Hoherd/CC

A bedroom in a 'bit of a guddle'. Picture: Daniel Hoherd/CC

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THERE are a great many words in the Scots language to describe a mess of rather impressive proportions, with terms like ‘tip’ and ‘midden’.

Less well known, perhaps, is the word ‘guddle’ which has the added appeal of describing not only the mess typical of a teenager’s bedroom but also any confusing or complex situation.

For example, a person could find themselves in a bit of a guddle if they slept in and missed the bus to work, or attempting to book holday tickets online could be a total guddle for some folk.

‘Guddling’ is a term used to describe attempts to catch fish with your bare hands - a rather messy and difficult task which would fit in with the widely-accepted definition of something messy or confusing.

It is thought that the term previously applied to any mess involving water - perhaps stemming from the fish-catching definition - such as children guddling around in a puddle, and is perhaps onomatopoeically-derived from the noise made by hands in water scrabbling around for fish.

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