Monday, March 07, 2005

Spuddle (spUdl) vb. The act of gentle gardening

I went out and had my first ever ‘spuddle’ at the weekend. It involved a bit of fork prodding, a little light trowel work, and even a few bits of weeding, but it was definitely a spuddle.

This word – or to give its proper definition, verb – is something my family have used for eons to describe the lazy act of general attendance to your garden’s needs. But it seems to meet the sarcastic tone of derision within my home. I’m sure that my cat would snigger, if he could, at my use of the word. It’s not a real word! It’s a silly yokel term that you silly Herefordians might use because you can’t read to know the real term!

The fact that it doesn’t have a dictionary entry does little to help my cause, but what better word is there for describing casual garden maintenance? Like pulling up a dandelion from the lawn, for example. Ok, so you could simply say ‘I’m doing the gardening’, but that’s just so general it could mean chopping down a tree, or even more athletic and strenuous acts like digging a veg plot. And spuddling could never involve anything strenuous.

So I’m sticking to spuddling for the time being. And I know that if I carry on using it, then before long Katie will too. Then we could go out and have a spuddle together – how lovely that would be!


Clare said...

I'm a 'pootle' person, as in 'What have you been up to today?', 'I've been pootling in the garden'. I think it might come from the character of the same name in the Flumps!

Asha Thiruchelvam said...

There's nothing like pottering about - whether it's in the garden or about the house! It's pretty much like spuddling only it's pottering!!

Joy said...

Mentioned the word "spuddling" to a friend who said I must have made it up! I denied this emphatically as it is a word my late mother often used - not only for gentle gardening but perhaps describing a free range hen "spuddling around" looking for titbits! Delighted to see the word is still being used!

Anonymous said...

to spuddle or spluddling is commonly used in the west country to describe doing nothing in particular, i.e., just messing about with whatever takes one's fancy

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