(redirected from fiddling around)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


1. a violin played as a folk instrument
2. Nautical a small railing around the top of a table to prevent objects from falling off it in bad weather



a stringed instrument, played with a bow. The fiddle was used from the eighth to the mid-14th century in Western Europe by itinerant musicians. In German-speaking countries the term “Fiedel” is analogous to the “vielle” or “viola” of Romance languages. The fiddle was spade-shaped, pear-shaped, or guitar-shaped, the last-mentioned being the classic type. Initially, its body had two flat sounding boards, square upper bouts, two semicircular soundholes, a fingerboard without frets, and a flat pegbox with perpendicularly placed tuning pegs. The fiddle had one to five strings, which were tuned in fourths or fifths (seeSTRINGED INSTRUMENT, BOWED).


Struve, B. A. Protsess formirovaniia viol i skripok. Moscow, 1959. Pages 37–55.
References in periodicals archive ?
Rather than waste time fiddling around with promotional campaigns, what Australia needs to do is to invest in the sectors which demonstrate its seriousness and its capability and education is one of them," added Anholt.
Well, while the other dads were fiddling around with plastic spades, out would come the old garden spade and in no time at all, our kids had the biggest and most spectacular castle on the beach, complete with a knee-deep moat to fill up.
SIR - With a Westminster general election looming on the horizon isn't it about time we voted for a real change of direction in Wales and stopped fiddling around the edges?
Hugh Laurie as the maverick quack who spends half an episode dismissing the work of his colleagues before fiddling around with his private life and saving a life in the nick of time.
But there it was, in an item about the State Employees Association considering suing over the state's fiddling around with retiree benefits:
After spending five years traveling the country establishing himself as a new artist, Mat dug his roots into his new hometown of Nashville, TN, allowing the songs on City of Black & White to evolve from various places and sources - in the back room of a studio where he stopped in to visit a friend, writing with people he met at coffee shops, hearing someone fiddling around with the guitar and humming along.
READING the excellent stable tour of Paul Nicholls' yard (October 27), I was interested in his comments on Dear Villez in relation to the Grand National: "If he were to win the Becher Chase it wrecks your handicap mark and if you have a serious National horse you are better off fiddling around over hurdles.
When I arrived for a France match, there was a radio expert already there, fiddling around with wiring in the box.
He added: "The answer to fuel poverty, the answer to the crisis today is not fiddling around with one off fuel payments or silly stunts from Gordon Brown - it is raising our rotten basic state pension, the worst in Western Europe, to a level that pensioners can live on.
Gang violence once again is on the rise and these people are fiddling around -- after decades of ineffective action -- while people are dying in the streets.
Quirke, a pathologist, finds his brother-in-law Malachy Griffin, an obstetrician-gynecologist in the same hospital, fiddling around with the file for a dead young woman, Christine Falls.
Just as Nero was caught fiddling while Rome was burning, The Home Depot had better stop fiddling around with its apologies to shareholders for its business meltdown and last year's nightmare of an annual meeting.