This blouse is a bit of a fiddle to do up.
It's kind of complicated to do up this blouse.
I've just came across the meaning of "fiddle" as "something difficult to do" and I tried to rephrase the sentence in order to get kind of a synonym.
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Yes, you can say it and it won't be wrong:
3 British informal a small task that seems awkward and unnecessarily complex:
inserting a tape is a bit of a fiddle
but generally fiddle is defined & accepted as:
The thing to remember with fiddle is that its original, literal meaning is violin, and that the various figurative senses of fiddle and fiddly all derive from the very fast precise finger movements that playing the fiddle calls for. Thus:
To fiddle with any object is to handle it rapidly in one's fingers.
A task that is fiddly isn't necessarily complicated (it can be very simple, like threading a needle) but calls for small exact movements.
The fingers of a good fiddler playing a fast piece move almost too fast to see what s/he is doing. This is why a clever scam or swindle is called a fiddle.
I wouldn't say a woman's blouse is complicated to do up, you don't need to follow a manual before it is buttoned. On the other hand, making something small and intricate like Dorset buttons looks complicated and very fiddly work.
Certain buttons can be time consuming to close and might require nimble finger work.
I'd say the following Austrian tinies [the website misnamed them Austrian smalls] are fiddly because of their tiny size. If you had twenty or more similar buttons on a dress or jacket, they wouldn't be easy to close quickly.
- This blouse is fiddly
- This blouse takes ages to button up
- Buttoning this blouse is time-consuming.
But, if you were talking about making something
- These dorset buttons are a bit of a fiddle to do.
- These dorset buttons are quite complicated to make