puddysticks, puttysticks, adjective

Forms:
Also pudsticks.
Origin:
British EnglishShow more Unknown; see Daily Dispatch quotations (Oct. 1993) for various theories. Cf. colloquial British English potty easy.
In the language of children: very easy. Also the abbreviated forms puds /pʌds/, putts, putty.
Note:
Remembered in use in Grahamstown since the 1930s; also in Kimberley since c1940.
1992 P. Dobson Informant, Cape TownPutty/Puttysticks. Easy (Children’s slang). Adding one and one is putty.
1993 R. Ross-Thompson in Daily Dispatch 30 Sept. 20How would you manage if you had to nip flies and mosquitoes out of the air using a pair of long-nosed pliers or tweezers..?...For European and lesser striped swallows it was puddy sticks.
1993 Daily Dispatch 18 Oct. 8Puddy sticks...I would say I first used it in my own vocabulary when at Selborne Primary in the 1950s...It could be a speedy vocal derivation of ‘putty’. Say putty fast and it becomes puddy. Now if I remember correctly,..putty used to come in long sticks wrapped in oil proof paper. Maybe the kids thought of it as soft and easily manipulated. Putty was something to play with, to make into models...It was probably before the discovery of plasticine too, which would have replaced it.
1993 Daily Dispatch 27 Oct. 20Puddy sticks, or puds..is used by children of primary school age, and means easy...Mrs Pits Hayes of Kwelera said she could trace the expression back to the 1930s when she was at primary school in Kimberley...‘Putty sticks and dabbies — meaning “I want something” — was [sic] in common use at that time,’ she said...Mrs Marian Watts of Gonubie..recalls the word ‘putsy’ being used widely in her 10 to 12-year-old days in Wales. That was also in the 1930s and it was said mostly by boys. East Londoner Charles Morris’ offering seems to confirm that putsy came from Britain. He says it was a common word in Rhodesia..in the 1945 to ’50 era when a lot of British expatriates settled there. ‘Kids bastardized it to “putts”,’ he said, meaning easy. Mr Hans Köhler.., who is from Saxony in Germany, says the word ‘puddstock’ was used by his parents who were born around the turn of the century. It was used when referring to politicians or girls who were ‘a soft touch, or easy — with no backbone, a pushover’.
1993 I.A. Wright Informant, GrahamstownDoing handstands is pudsticks! I can’t think why I couldn’t do it before!
1994 Informant, GrahamstownPuddysticks was just a normal word in the house. I knew it as a child in the 20’s.
In the language of children: very easy. Also the abbreviated forms pudspʌds, putts, putty.
Entry Navigation

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

19921994