: addlepated \AD-ul-pay-tud\ adjective

1 : being mixed up : confused 2 : eccentric


The patient was blabbering like an addlepated fool.

“She had lost what little ability she ever had to concentrate and her addlepated mind flitted butterflylike from one often unrelated subject to another.” — From Tessa Harris’s 2012 novel The Anatomist’s Apprentice

Did you know?

In Middle English an “adel eye” was a putrid egg. The stench of such an egg apparently affected the minds of some witty thinkers, who hatched a comparison between the diminished, unsound quality of an “adel” (or “addle”) egg and an empty, confused head—or pate. “Your owne imagination, which was no lesse Idle, then your head was addle all that day,” wrote one 17th-century wit at play with the words “idle” and “addle.” Today, “addle” is often found in combination with words referring to one’s noggin, as in “addlepated,” “addlebrained,” and “addle-headed.”



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