Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Diddums - Aww! Did It Hurt?

I don't know what's happened here, but saying 'Diddums!" will make it worse
(photo by La Fine Soltanto)


Interjection & noun. Late 19th century.
[from did 'em, i.e. 'did they' (sc. 'tease you' etc.).]

(A form of address to young children and jocularly to adults) expressing commiseration or endearment.

I nearly got into a fight over the word diddums once. I was cycling with friends through a rather rough estate in Oxford (yes! Oxford has rough estates), and I took a corner a bit too fast on my BMX and skidded off, skittering across the tarmac in a dramatic but very painful fashion. I was back on my feet, wincing at my torn 501s and bleeding leg, when a boy in a leather jacket taunted me from across the street: "Aww. Diddums! Did you hurt yourself? Did it hurt? Aww! Diddums!"

Now, I've never been one that's easily moved to anger, but that really got me. In fact, I would go so far as to say it enraged me! And suddenly I found myself sizing up to a boy considerably bigger and older than me, with the standard chest-shoves and shoulder-thrusts and back-and-forths: "C'mon then! Yeah! You wanna 'ave a go! Let's go then! Yeah? C'mon! 'Ave a go then if you think yer 'ard enough!"

Anyway, my point is this: diddums, whilst it may sound like a mild enough provocation, actually has the power to infuriate the mildest of souls. Fortunately, we both tired of the histrionics and parted ways, hurling insults as we went, without it actually coming to blows; I then went home (as I had really, really hurt myself) where my Mum patiently picked the bits of gravel out of my leg ... and possibly kissed it better ... I don't remember exactly.

Seriously, though, I could've 'ad him, I could.

Have you ever got into a testosterone-fuelled brawl over the word diddums?
(I say testosterone, but I was about 8, so that wasn't it in my case)

Do please leave your most sympathetic comments in the box below.
(It really hurt! There was blood and everything! And my favourite jeans!)

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