nurdle n. a grain, pellet, granule, or other small piece of a material, especially as part of a large quantity (such as foam kernels used as packing material); (in pronunciation-based spellings) a nodule; a quantity of a gel or semi-solid; a thing of unknown name (doodad, thingamajig, etc.). Also nerdle. Editorial Note: The use of nurdle to describe the amount of toothpaste one should put on a toothbrush was probably popularized as part of an organized campaign by the American Dental Association. A nurdle is also a play in the game of tiddlywinks and a type of batting in cricket. There are also, apparently, at least two ridiculous British games called nurdling, both which can only be explained after beers. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. sairuh says:

    colloquial pronunciation: nuddle
    (my dad’s been using that one for years, mostly in relation to describing dingleberries, dog pooh, and other small gross pieces of things)

  2. In fact nurdling is related to the act of batting (not bowling) in cricket.  It is the act of nudging the ball to the close in-field rather than playing a full-blown shot at the ball (similar to a bunt rather than a full swing in baseball).  While it perfectly possible to score runs by nurdling they tend to come (very) slowly.

  3. Right you are, Steve. I’ve revised the entry accordingly.

  4. Nurdle has a cute, endearing sound and is a welcome addition to my vocabulary.  I guess the consonant + le is a short form for diminutives such as elle or ille.  A diminutive diminutive in the tradition of chuckle, chortle, fiddle, faddle, boodle, it’s homey, non-threatening. Yet I feel uneasy about milliards of nurdles washing out to sea.  Thanks for the fun!

  5. david peck says:

    Growing up, “nurdles” were generally regarded by me, my sibs, and buddies as any small, hard or semi-hard thingys produced by one’s body and extricated from one’s orifices, usually a nose hole, navel, or butt crack.

  6. Mark Baker says:

    Mark Baker

    I don’t think you can have nurdle as a noun in cricket. It is a verb to describe a method of batting.  Boycott was famous for ‘nudging and nurdling’ his way to a big score.

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