Green’s Dictionary of Slang

flapdoodle n.2

also doodleflap, flamdoodle
[ety. unknown; the image is of flapping lips]

1. nonsense, rubbish; thus flapdoodler n., a charlatan, a politician, a speaker of portentous but empty words; also as v. (see cit. 1925).

[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 226: ‘It’s my opinion, Peter, that the gentleman has eaten no small quantity of flapdoodle in his lifetime.’ ‘ Whats that, O’Brien?’ replied I. [...] ‘Why, Peter, it’s the stuff they feed fools on.’.
[UK]Bristol Mercury 18 Nov. 6/1: Flapdoodle, the stuff they feed fools on.
[UK]Hants. Advertiser 19 June 10/3: he was administering to them political ‘flapdoodle’.
[UK]T. Hughes Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 457: ‘I shall talk to our regimental doctors about it, and get put through a course of fools’ diet—flapdoodle they call it, what fools are fed on.’.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 24 June 3/5: The Fenian Hoax [...] was all what Captain Marryat calls ‘flap-doodle’.
[UK]Bath Chron. 31 July 5/2: We all know what that sort of means [...] It is what Captain Marryat used to call ‘flapdoodle’.
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 212: The king [...] slobbers out a speech, all full of tears and flapdoodle about its being a sore trial for him and his poor brother to lose the diseased.
[UK]Burnley Gaz. 29 Jan. 5/1: This is mere rhodomontade and flapdoodle.
[UK]Sheffield Eve. Teleg. 28 Jan. 4/3: We [...] planted uncle George in shipshape and proper manner. We wasn’t goin’ to have any highfalutin flamdoodle business over him.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 29 Nov. 6/1: The deputation [...] comprised the following well-known gentlemen : — The Rev. Silas Saphead [...] the Rev. Onesiphorous Flap-doodle .
[NZ]Bruce Herald 4 May 6/7: The ‘Verse’ was labelled variously ‘hog-wash,’ ‘flapdoodle mixture,’ ‘slumgullion,’ etc.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 99: The people’s [...] don’t go browsin’ ’round none sendin’ challenges in writin’, an’ that sort of flapdoodle.
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 410: Their tittle-tattle, combined with his own ready wit, made the ‘flap-doodle’ [...] with which he fed the British public!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Dec. 12/1: In an interview on his Divorce Bill [...] Senator Dobson has much unnecessary doodleflap, but he hits the nail fair on the head.
[Aus]E.G. Murphy ‘A Gibney-Riley Wrangle’ in Jarrahland Jingles 21: ‘All bunkum,’ grunted Riley [...] ‘A lot of fools’ flapdoodle,’.
Lincoln (NE) State Journal 15 Feb. n.p.: However, flapdoodle frequently is more interesting than something sensible.
[US]M.G. Hayden ‘Terms Of Disparagement’ in DN IV:iii 204: flamdoodle, flapdoodle, empty talk.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 154: Time someone thought about that instead of gassing on about the what was it the pensive bosom of the silver effulgence. Flapdoodle to feed fools on.
[US]S. Lewis Arrowsmith 340: You wander off monkey-skipping and flap-doodling with colon bacillus before you have finished with staph.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 191: All that flapdoodle which blows out of the East like a breath from the plague.
[US]J. Mitchell ‘Professor Sea Gull’ in Joe Gould’s Secret (1996) 13: The Oral History is a great hodgepodge of [...] gab, palaver, hogwash, flapdoodle, and malarkey.
[US]R.P. Smith ‘The Goofy Girls’ in Russell Permanent Playboy (1959) 139: I was a sad bird all full of cosmic ideas [...] and flapdoodle.
[UK]C. Stead Cotters’ England (1980) 152: No wonder the thought of death attracts him. It’s a comfort when life has betrayed you. There’s an end to the shame and flapdoodle!
[US]T. Wolfe Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1969) 113: India — the East — with all the ancient flapdoodle of Gautama Buddha or the Rig-Veda blowing in like mildew.
[US]L. Bangs in Psychotic Reactions (1988) 115: Why waste space with repeated choruses, instrumental breaks [...] or any of that flapdoodle.
W. Goodman N.Y. Times 21 June n.p.: The allegation is flapdoodle [R].
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read How to Shoot Friends 30: The poor chaps had been assigned to check out some flapdoodle about a prisoner who committed suicide.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 125: Without such a Bill of Rights,the republic talk is total flap doodle.
Intelligent Life (Economist, UK) Sept./Oct. 114/1: It is a glorious feat of flapdoodle.
[UK]D.A. Green Law & Policy Blog 27 Feb. 🌐 The phrase ‘stewardship and care’ looks like it should be a legal phrase. It [...] has a nice legalish comforting ring to it. But it is flapdoodle.

2. (US) any thing.

[US]C.E. Mulford Hopalong Cassidy Returns 311: Down our way we use beans; red an’ white beans. These here flapdoodles are just as good, though. Low deals?

3. a fuss, an uproar.

[UK]N. Streatfeild Grass in Piccadilly 175: You know all that flapdoodle of everybody rushing round.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings’ Little Hut 156: I thought it was royalty, at least, judging by all this flapdoodle.