Words: twaddle, n. and v.

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RUPERT HART-DAVIS reports that Ivy Compton-Burnett's companion, Margaret Jourdain, once arrived at the publisher Victor Gollancz's office with a parcel and the remark, "Here's some more of Ivy's twaddle" - an expression which delighted Gollancz more than the prospect of trying to sell another masterpiece.

The word is of obscure origins and distinct from twaddle as a variant of waddle. First used in Miss Jourdain's sense in 1782, it was probably a version of twattle, as in twittle-twattle, which Johnson called "a vile word, a ludicrous reduplication of twattle". This is from tittle-tattle, tattle being either to stammer, prattle or prate (as is tatler). It arrived in the 16th century from various onomatopoeic Teutonic words, such as low German tateln.