Special words…We all have them, and indeed most cannot be found in a dictionary.
Yesterday I learned a new one from Viv:
It was in connection with quilting and crafting. We are both avid followers of talltalesfromchiconia and were wowed by her latest creation.
In needlework of all kinds I ferniggle, adapt and cheat all the time. We are often reminded that there is more than one way to skin a cat (mind you I like to keep away from cats, so never tested it) I am a great believer in there being more than one way to do anything.
Hush will you, I am not talking about a right way and a wrong way, as if that were the only choice. I mean adapting a different way to make something fit, look, feel etc., I might use a ‘what-ya-ma-call-it’ or ‘a thing-a-ma-gig’ to help me get there.
Daddy had a phrase: Cut your cloth to suit your pattern. He might have meant living within my means, but I ferniggled it to mean fiddling about and adjusting my pattern to suit my cloth, yarn… or indeed my recipe to suit the ingredients in my pantry!
If I like the sound of a recipe that calls for butter, well, I will find a substitute for that ‘butter’ that can never touch my lips. It works for me and so far nobody has refused to eat my home baking.
Mammy was a dab hand at ferniggling a hat. In her book it was a ‘mortlar’ (think mortal sin) to plonk a hat like an upturned flowerpot on any head. She would always perch them at an angle, add a tricky feather or punch a dent in the side of chosen hat for the day. Do you think that is where I got it from?
The last hat/headgear I made was not alone ferniggled but footery into the bargain. It was well worth the effort and a great success!
I ferniggle all the time…happily…especially on Facebook!
Padmini, we did a fair bit of ferniggling yesterday on several forms of social media… All at the same time!
That was a good one (and thank you for the pingback, by the way). One of my own favourites in the context of ferniggling is ‘poofteenth’ which is Australian for a very small amount, a fraction, a hair, a tiny smidgen.
‘poofteenth’ I love it! It sounds more interesting than a ‘pinch’ as in ‘a pinch of salt’ in a recipe. I will be adding it to my vocabulary.
I think that I shall start to ferniggle straight away.
Have fun ferniggling, Ramana… Do you think we should warn Manjiree?
Hello Grannymar – my mother would tell us to stop ‘ fiddlefaddling’ around and get on with it.. Never did tell me what it meant lol
Cathy, ‘ fiddlefaddling’ was in mammy’s vocabulary too. I think she meant fidgeting about when were restless or should be getting on with a task.
So do you think it was an Irish expression – my mother being from the north.
‘fiddle faddling’ appears in many dictionaries as nonsense, something trivial or to fuss with trifles. I would not think it was particularly ‘Irish’.
Thanks for that 🙂
I’m sure it reached colonies as well, I seem to recall it being used her in NZ – not in recent years but earlier…and it’s definitely to do “with get on with task stop fidd…..about”
I ferniggle all the time, perfect word, never heard it before. “Foostering” was a word my granny used – i.e. “foostering about” – “I’ll fooster with that a while” etc.
I am familiar with “Foostering”, I am a past master at it!
Fudging seems to be common term in textile making here…sounds similar to your word…
Cathy, governments are good at fudging figures to make it look as though targets have been met!
Here they call the gov’t fudging as “creative accounting”
Cathy, they have names for everything! 😆