Printable Version
Pronunciation: ki-dah-lê-jee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: No, this word doesn't mean "the study of kids", it is a recent piece of British slang referring to the practice of kidding people, teasing them deceptively, jerking them around.

Notes: Today's word is a joking misuse of the -ology suffix, paralleling the Irish misuse of it in codology "foolish or untrue talking or writing, nonsense, gibberish". It comes with the full panoply of -ology derivations: kidologist, kidological, and kidologically.

In Play: All serious kidologists can easily get your goat: "Beware of what Ernest says; he's a master of kidology." Although the derivations do not appear in any dictionary, they are there for you in informal conversation: "Every time the president misspeaks, he tries to cover himself by claiming it was a kidological expression."

Word History: Today's Good Word was kiddingly created from the verb kid + ology (now a word on its own) in the sense of "the subject of study, the thing itself", as in technology, psychology, ecology in the sense of 'the deplorable ecology of streams in the region'. Kid is strictly Germanic. English borrowed it from Old Norse kið "young goat", close cousin of German Kitze, and Danish and Swedish kid "fawn, calf, kid". It is also akin to kitten. Where it originated is anyone's guess. The English extended form referring to children became an acceptable word in the 19th century. Before that it was applied to "artful young dodgers", as Charles Dickens called them, hence the verbal meaning "to deceive as a tease (childishly)".

Dr. Goodword,

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