by RaShell on 2008-02-15
A doodle is a type of sketch, an unfocused drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied. They are simple drawings which can have a meaning, a shape or just irregular forms.
Doodling is mainly made by young people around the world, notably students. This activity is normally made during long or boring classes as the students begin daydreaming or losing interest. They do it mainly on the notebook margins or in the back pages starting as random lines and sketches and then becoming more elaborated.
Doodling can also be made while talking by telephone for a long period of time if a pen and paper are available.
Popular kinds of doodles include cartoon versions of teachers or companions in a school, famous TV or comic characters, invented fictional beings, landscapes, textures, banners with legends, and animations made by drawing a scene sequence in various pages of a book or notebook.
The word doodle first appeared in the early seventeenth century to mean a fool or simpleton, and is thought to derive from the Low German dudeltopf, meaning “fool” or “simpleton”. This is the meaning meant in the song “Yankee Doodle“, originally sung by British colonial troops prior to the American Revolutionary War. This is also the origin of the early eighteenth century verb to doodle, meaning “to swindle or to make a fool of”. The modern meaning emerged in the 1930s either from this meaning or from the verb “to dawdle”, which since the seventeenth century has had the meaning of wasting time or being lazy.