Author Topic: Potter or Putter  (Read 10230 times)

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veryfluffy

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2012, 04:29:34 PM »
UK here, it's "potter".

(Unless you are messing about before going somewhere, then it's "faff").

Yes, I would more or less agree with that. Pottering is doing little but generally quite useful things, and is a pleasant sort of way to pass the time. Faffing is doing useless things as a way to kill time or while procrastinating.

Puttering? Isn't that something in golf?
   

katycoo

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2012, 05:53:22 PM »
Australians potter.  Another term I like which is more to imply time wasting or dallying rather than just moseying about is "faffing about".  Does anyone else use that?

Pippen

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2012, 02:13:27 AM »
or pootle. Pootling is something of a speciality of mine. 

oz diva

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2012, 02:33:03 AM »
In Australia we potter.

Victoria

merryns

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2012, 03:00:07 AM »
Aussie here - pottering. And faffing. And I agree with the distinction.

LibraryLady

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2012, 02:48:34 PM »
Here in Texas, I piddle around.

Hollis

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2012, 03:45:13 PM »
Here in Texas, I piddle around.

Hollis

Piddle means something quite different here - you gave me quite the mental image!

jmarvellous

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2012, 03:53:14 PM »
Here in Texas, I piddle around.

Hollis

Piddle means something quite different here - you gave me quite the mental image!

I'm in Texas and it throws me off every time.

I fiddle around, mess around or waste time, but I never potter or putter or piddle, though I'd catch your drift in any case.

Iris

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2012, 03:58:02 PM »
Aussie here - pottering. And faffing. And I agree with the distinction.

Me too.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2012, 03:59:18 PM »
Here in Texas, I piddle around.

Hollis

Piddle means something quite different here - you gave me quite the mental image!

To me "piddle" is a word the owner of a puppy or small dog would use to describe it urinating on the kitchen floor. "Aww did poopsie-whoopie do a piddle puddle?" or "Ralph get in the kitchen and clean up after this puppy!  He piddled on the floor again!"

hobish

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2012, 04:08:06 PM »
Here in Texas, I piddle around.

Hollis

Piddle means something quite different here - you gave me quite the mental image!

To me "piddle" is a word the owner of a puppy or small dog would use to describe it urinating on the kitchen floor. "Aww did poopsie-whoopie do a piddle puddle?" or "Ralph get in the kitchen and clean up after this puppy!  He piddled on the floor again!"

Yes. Puppies piddle. It's a bit cutesy for my vocab; but that is the meaning i know. I have also seen piddling used to demean something or someone ... piddling peasants, or a piddling amount (tiny amount) comes to mind.

In NJ, USA it is putter. If you are pottering ... well, you wouldn't be, because it doesn't make sense.
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Judah

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2012, 04:30:23 PM »
I'm a Californian who is also a potter who used to putter in her studio a lot.  Not so much anymore, sadly.  I don't piddle, but I do piddle around. Faffing sounds like passing gas to me.
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Jones

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2012, 04:35:51 PM »
I had to pay attention as I've never thought about it before, but people here "fiddle" or "mess around." I'm familiar with the listed uses of potter/putter/piddle, but can't say the last time I heard a real person use them that way.

I have to say I think the author was rude to chide the use of "potter" in favor of "putter". Language evolves, it's likely that a word can have more than one meaning.

baritone108

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2012, 04:58:23 PM »
My New English Dictionary published 1936 defines potter as someone who makes pots, and to potter or pottering as moving about aimlessly doing small jobs. The only definition of putter is a type of golf club. I myself potter, and it is only recently that I have read the term " puttering" in books from the US. (I'm in the UK)

Midwest US, here.  We use puttering about.  My 1981 Webster's Dictionary defines putter as, "to move or act aimlessly or idly" with the second definition being "to work at random".  They list TINKER as a synonym and I have heard tinkering about, though tinkering with is more common.  The only definition they give for potter is "one that makes pottery".

Iris

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Re: Potter or Putter
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2012, 05:34:36 PM »
I'm a Californian who is also a potter who used to putter in her studio a lot.  Not so much anymore, sadly.  I don't piddle, but I do piddle around. Faffing sounds like passing gas to me.

Well, I don't think that the filter would let me say the other, more vulgar, term for faffing about, but it is [pass wind][backside]-ing about so it is possible that there is a certain overlap  ;)
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