• WordNet 3.6
    • adj fiddling (informal) small and of little importance "a fiddling sum of money","a footling gesture","our worries are lilliputian compared with those of countries that are at war","a little (or small) matter","a dispute over niggling details","limited to petty enterprises","piffling efforts","giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The cat and the fiddle The cat and the fiddle
and the Fiddle, and the Fiddle,
Cat and the fiddle Cat and the fiddle

Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n fiddling The act or practice of playing on the fiddle.
    • n fiddling Trifling; useless or unimportant doings; fidgeting with the fingers or hands.
    • fiddling Tri fling; trivial; fussily busy with nothing.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Fiddling trifling, busy about trifles
    • ***


  • Sigmund Z. Engel
    Sigmund Z. Engel
    “The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.”
  • English Proverb
    English Proverb
    “Friends are like fiddle strings, they must not be screwed too tight.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “To feel fit as a fiddle you must tone down your middle.”


Fiddle while Rome burns - If people are fiddling while Rome burns, they are wasting their time on futile things while problems threaten to destroy them.
Fit as a fiddle - If you are fit as a fiddle, you are in perfect health.
On the fiddle - (UK) Someone who is stealing money from work is on the fiddle, especially if they are doing it by fraud.
Play second fiddle - If you play second fiddle, you take a subordinate role behind someone more important.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. fiðele; Ger. fiedel. See Violin.


In literature:

The Cat and the Fiddle, The Cow jumped over the moon.
"More Tales in the Land of Nursery Rhyme" by Ada M. Marzials
D'ye think Paganyni couldn't play a better second fiddle than I can?
"Aunt Rachel" by David Christie Murray
Eight couples on the floor tramped or tiptoed, as the case might be, but always in perfect time with the two unmelodious fiddles.
"Peak and Prairie" by Anna Fuller
Get your fiddle and play to us in the gloaming, Goody!
"Dwell Deep" by Amy Le Feuvre
Round the room he sat in were hung a number of fiddles in green-baize bags.
"Despair's Last Journey" by David Christie Murray
From door and windows came the sounds of scraping fiddles and stamping feet.
"Oh, You Tex!" by William Macleod Raine
After playing a whole evening I used always to find all my fiddle-strings snapped.
"Russian Fairy Tales" by W. R. S. Ralston
Thee may go back to thy fiddling and dancing!
"Stories by American Authors (Volume 4)" by Constance Fenimore Woolson
The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon.
"Fair Harbor" by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
Some man played the fiddle and we danced.
"Patchwork" by Anna Balmer Myers

In poetry:

They showed me how, by three-fold scoff,
When cares of life perplex us,
To smoke, or sleep, or fiddle them off,
And scorn the ills that vex us.
"The Three Gipsies" by Nikolaus Lenau
Sae Gibby sat doon upon Boglebriggs,
An' put his fiddle in tune,
While the stranger stood stampin' an' shakin' his feet,
As if wearyin' to begin.
"The Fiddler O' Boglebriggs" by Alexander Anderson
Zoo come to-morrow night; an' mind,
Don't leäve thy fiddle-bag behind;
We'll sheäke a lag, an' drink a cup
O' eäle, to keep wold Chris'mas up.
"Chris’mas Invitation" by William Barnes
Sae nae lad or lass, or grown-up man,
Though ye offer them a' ye hae,
Will gang by the brig at the midnicht hoor,
When that fiddle begins to play;
"The Fiddler O' Boglebriggs" by Alexander Anderson
Come down to-morrow night; an' mind,
Don't leäve thy fiddle-bag behind;
We'll sheäke a lag, an' drink a cup
O' eäle, to keep wold Chris'mas up.
"Chris’mas Invitation" by William Barnes
Auld Grizzy cockit her lugs at this,
An' she said, "Gudeman, gudeman,
Can ye no play ae reel to the stranger man,
An' the fiddle close at your han'?"
"The Fiddler O' Boglebriggs" by Alexander Anderson

In news:

Musicians jam Sunday at the Lyons Fiddle Festival.
The 17th annual Ed Haley Old Time Fiddle Festival is scheduled Saturday in downtown Ashland.
Why Did Blues Fiddling Vanish.
Folk School Annual Fiddle Contest in Strauss Park, Sunday, September 9.
On Sunday September 9, the Folk School held its annual Fiddle Contest in Strauss Park.
Vancouver Giants fiddle to fix the middle as faceoffs become a growing concern.
Fiddle & Folk Festival: Buddy Merriam & Back Roads.
' Fiddle & Plow' added to state music trail.
For the second year in a row, 10 highly talented musical artists will gather tomorrow night at the UAF Davis Concert hall for the " Fiddle Fest" fundraiser.
The Axe & Fiddle in Cottage Grove may be a favorite communityhang out, but musicians keep coming back for the stage.
Photos by Torin Halsey/Times Record News Fiddle players at Bobby Flores' B.A.M.
Fiddler Magazine A comprehensive resource of fiddling events, styles, history, and more.
Fiddling runs in Wilson's family.
Scott Moore (right) and Gabe Witcher leading the fiddle workshop at ROMP 2011.
Payroll Processors Fume as Congress Fiddles on Tax-Cut Extension.