Beautiful Words – Fudgel


Welcome to another edition of Beautiful Words. Each week, I try to expand my vocabulary, and yours, by introducing you to interesting words. Sometimes they’re pretty. Sometimes they’re silly. Sometimes they make you realize you had no idea there was a word for that particular thing, sensation, emotion, etc.

This week’s word is fudgel. My guess is that, if you’re a writer, you may not be familiar with the word, but you surely understand what it means.

Fudgel is an 18th-century word. It’s a verb and it means:

Pretending to work while actually doing nothing.

Well, not that checking Instagram, refilling your coffee, petting the dogs, or browsing Amazon or iTunes is nothing. I mean, it all counts as ‘research,’ right? A solid element of the creative process. Psshhhh …

But it makes sense. When we tell a white lie or try to deceive someone, even though our intentions may be good, we say we’ve fudged. So I like taking it a step further about the specific action of procrastinating to avoid work and giving it the name fudgel.

Now, I’ve got some proofreading to do for a client, but I’m going to fudgel a bit because my coffee cup is empty.

What beautiful words do you like?