Monday, July 25, 2011


When I was a child, I often heard my father exclaim, "Fiddlesticks!" at a point of frustration. I never thought to ask him what "fiddlesticks" meant and never bothered to find out. A wild guess would suggest it had something to do with a fiddle and some sticks, but what?

Here's an illustration of someone playing fiddlesticks—two light sticks used to tap out a percussive beat on the strings of a fiddle while the fiddle is being played. This musical style apparently developed in early American/pioneer/old time music settings -- but don't know much more about it than that. In a time when musical instruments were at a premium and folks were easily entertained, I guess it was easy to invent new ways of being musical.

And I still don't know why my father used it as an expression.


  1. That's a great video, William, and I really enjoy the fiddlesticks concept. I've been getting more into bluegrass the last couple of years, from more mainstream acts like Alison Krauss & Union Station to lesser known's such as Frank Fairfield. The genre has a lot of authenticity and soul to it - Ben

  2. Priscilla SoleilJuly 27, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    Hey there...

    Having heard that expression many time growing up (usually when things weren't working out the way one hoped), thought I'd do a little search. Not sure how accurate this is, but, thought this individual's answer may be a good possibility to the origin of, "Oh, fiddlesticks!" Here's the link: