A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Addle (adjective)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 80

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 80

A'ddle. adj. [from aꝺl, a disease, Sax. according to Skinner and Junius; perhaps from ẏꝺl, idle, barren, unfruitful.] Originally applied to eggs, and signifying such as produce nothing, but grow rotten under the hen; thence transferred to brains that produce nothing.

There's one with truncheon, like a ladle,
That carries eggs too fresh or addle;
And still at random, as he goes,
Among the rabble rout bestows.
Hudibras, p. ii. cant. ii.

After much solitariness, fasting, or long sickness, their brains were addle, and their bellies as empty of meat as their heads of wit. Burton on Melancholy.

Thus far the poet; but his brains grow addle:
And all the rest is purely from this noddle.
Dryd. Don Seb.

Sources: Burton, Robert (5) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Dryden, John (788) · Junius, Francis (23) · Skinner, Stephen (55)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Addle (adjective)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 29, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/addle-adjective/.

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