footle vs tarry what difference

what is difference between footle and tarry



Probably variant of footer (to screw around), from obsolete fouter (an act of sexual intercourse), from French foutre (to have sexual intercourse), from Latin futuere.


  • enPR: fo͞otəl, IPA(key): /fuːtəl/
  • Rhymes: -uːtəl


footle (third-person singular simple present footles, present participle footling, simple past and past participle footled)

  1. To waste time; to trifle.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:loiter
  2. To talk nonsense.
    Synonyms: babble, jabber

Derived terms

  • footler



footle (uncountable)

  1. nonsense; foolishness.


  • See Thesaurus:nonsense



Alternative forms

  • tarrow (Scotland)

Etymology 1

From Middle English tarien, terien (to vex, harass, cause to hesitate, delay), from Old English tirian, tirġan, terġan (to worry, exasperate, pain, provoke, excite), from Proto-Germanic *terganą, *targijaną (to pull, tease, irritate), from Proto-Indo-European *deregʰ- (to pull, tug, irritate). Cognate with Dutch tergen (to provoke), German zergen (to vex, irritate, provoke), Norwegian Bokmål terge (to irritate, provoke), Russian дёргать (djórgatʹ, to pull, yank, jerk, pluck up). Compare also Walloon tårdjî (to be late, to be slow, to wait).


  • IPA(key): /ˈtæ.ɹi/, enPR: tăr’ē
  • Rhymes: -æri


tarry (third-person singular simple present tarries, present participle tarrying, simple past and past participle tarried) (dated)

  1. (intransitive) To delay; to be late or tardy in beginning or doing anything.
    Synonyms: forestall, put off; see also Thesaurus:procrastinate
  2. (intransitive) To linger in expectation of something or until something is done or happens.
    Synonym: abide
  3. (intransitive) To abide, stay or wait somewhere, especially if longer than planned.
    Synonyms: hang about, hang around, linger, loiter; see also Thesaurus:tarry
  4. (intransitive) To stay somewhere temporarily.
    Synonyms: sojourn, stay, stay over, stop, stop over; see also Thesaurus:sojourn
  5. (transitive) To wait for; to stay or stop for; to allow to linger.
    Synonyms: await, wait on; see also Thesaurus:wait for


tarry (plural tarries)

  1. A sojourn.
    Synonyms: stay, stop, stop-over

Etymology 2

From Middle English terrie, equivalent to tar +‎ -y.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɑːɹi/, enPR: tär’ē
  • Rhymes: -ɑːri


tarry (comparative tarrier, superlative tarriest)

  1. Resembling tar.
    Synonym: pitchy
  2. Covered with tar.
    Synonyms: bituminized, pitchy


  • Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “tarry”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  • Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967

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