If you make circles with your pen aimlessly during a boring lecture, this is an example of when you doodle.
A little picture of a house you made on the back of a napkin without a lot of thought going into it is an example of a doodle.
Perceval. Weep on! weep on! thou flouted loon,
Weep on! weep on! thou gowky doodle!
Courtier, it was thine to bow —
Great Arthur he, and Doodle thou!
Origin of doodle
- English dialectal to fritter away time perhaps from doodle fool doodlebug
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- The meaning "fool, simpleton" is intended in the song title "Yankee Doodle", originally sung by British colonial troops prior to the American Revolutionary War. This is also the origin of the early eighteenth century verb to doodle, meaning "to swindle or to make a fool of". The modern meaning emerged in the 1930s either from this meaning or from the verb "to dawdle", which since the seventeenth century has had the meaning of wasting time or being lazy.
- The word doodle first appeared in the early 17th century to mean a fool or simpleton. German variants of the etymon include Dudeltopf, Dudentopf, Dudenkopf, Dude and Dödel. American English dude may be a derivation of doodle.