Hit the right note.



I don’t hear it very often anymore. My Dad used to say it, on occasion. He’d be trying to fix something at his workbench in the corner of our basement. And then, out of nowhere, you would hear it. “Fiddlesticks.”

The origin, of course, points to the bows that are used to play violins. The first reference to this, in old English Prose, was back in the 15th century. Back then it was spelled as ‘fydylstyks’.

When my Dad said it, the meaning was “Dag Nab It.” “Darn.” Or some such translation. But the “origin” of the word and its definition, list its meaning as “rubbish, nonsense.”

It is kind of a funny sounding word, like “Lickspittle,” (a sycophant), or “Snollygoster,” (an unprincipled person).


Sometimes, life serves you up a big heap of something. Something you don’t want. And the only recourse it to reply with a heartfelt, “Fiddlesticks.”

I’m wondering now if there is any difference, between a violin and a fiddle. And the sticks that play them. Probably, the only telling distinction is the person holding the instrument.

Actually, to set the record straight, the difference is in the specifics. I am told that a Violin is a Fiddle. But, the Fiddle is not necessarily a Violin. A Fiddle can be all sorts of different things.

Sort of like a rabbit is a mammal. But all mammals are not rabbits.
Hold the carrots, please.

It sure would be nice, if I could look out today, and see a rabbit, playing the fiddle somewhere. With the thing, all tucked up under his chin, and his big old ears, flopping this way and that. He couldn’t be Nakers. He’d have to have on denim overalls, or something. Unless, of course, he was playing the violin. Then it would be Black Tie all the way. Regardless, I bet that rabbit could keep a mean beat with his left foot. Wump. Wump. Wump.

The greatest violinist in history was not a Rabbit. He is said to be David Oistrakh. He was Ukrainian and he lived from 1908 to 1974. (At least, those are the rankings at Classical-Music.Com). Who knew. I saw a photo of him. He had some pretty decent ears on him. He was holding a Fiddlestick.

And there we go again. Another thing rolls around connected. And how all this works. One little word can take us halfway around the globe, and back again. Violins. Rabbits. Dag Nab It. Fiddlesticks.


“When all the details fit in perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story.” ― Charles Baxter


“No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.”
― Isaac Newton


“Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book