Have You Ever 'Canoodled'?

Have you ever canoodled? I wonder if millennials even know what ‘canoodling’ is… In fact, how many Baby Boomers actually know what canoodling means? As interesting as the word sounds, its origins are a bit obscure. The Miriam-Webster online dictionary says that “it may come from an English dialect noun of the same spelling meaning ‘donkey’, ‘fool’ or  ‘foolish lover’, which itself may be an alteration of the word noodle, meaning ‘a foolish person”.

So does that mean my very own mum and dad were ‘foolish lovers’?

The reason for saying that, of course, was that my mum, Lucy, used the word in a short podcast I did with her leading up to her 80th birthday back in 2001. She said: “My boyfriend had a tandem bike and we used to go up to Mt Sugarloaf or the lake for some… ‘canoodling’!”

Some definitions of the word are quite romantic. A cuddle, gentle embrace or a kiss. Others are a bit more ‘racy’ implying more than ‘just a kiss’! Whatever it really means, do people still ‘canoodle’?

I’ve recently been looking back at my mum’s diaries, created over most of her adult life.

Like most of us she had her ups and downs, but the one thing I think she managed to teach my sister and I was to always remember the good times. Clearly ‘canoodling’ in her early relationship with my father was a happy memory, which she was only too happy to share!

Which brings me to the point of all this. What really makes a happy relationship?

Some people stay together for security. Mostly - but not always – the wife will often stick out a less than perfect relationship because the husband is bringing home a reasonable income that supports the family, possibly with a child or two.

While there’s no major conflict, both people are not what you might call ‘happy’ even if they do respect each other – and my guess is there’s no canoodling!

So how can you spot canoodlers?

Well next time you go out walking, to an event or out shopping, see if you can spot potential canoodlers. These are usually couples – young or old – that walk along hand-in-hand or one arm around the other.

They’re not shy to say to the world ‘we love each other’!

Of course we’ve all seen those couples who either walk one in front of the other (usually the male), or so far apart you could fit two more people between them. They don’t talk or even look at each other.

They probably don’t ‘canoodle’ either.

Apart from the romantic side of canoodling, it’s really all about ‘touch’ and what that means to each person. Caring, cuddling or canoodling, whatever you want to call it, for me really just says... ‘I care about you’.

I’m pretty sure you’d agree we need a lot more of that in today’s world.


Text & Photo (c) 2018 Brian Pickering - Originally published on Starts@60 
Photo: Brian's mum & dad Lucy & Wal on a tandem bike at Mt Sugarloaf, West Wallsend Newcastle NSW AU

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