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While researching something unrelated I found this entry on Etymonline:

an idiot sometimes became a nidiot, which, with still-common casual pronunciation, became nidget, which, alas, has not survived.

(emphasis mine)

Is it true that the "nidget" has not survived?

Friends of mine from Dublin and Liverpool (both sadly long dead, so I cannot ask them) used to use the word, I am quite sure, with regularity when discussing the deficiencies of neighbours, relatives, and most often, politicians.

Ngrams shows little usage of the word in the last 200 years, and most hits on Google books go back to the 19th century.

Are there some dialects that still make use of this variant of an idiot, or have I outlived yet another word?

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  • 3
    Did they really use nidget? As in "That nidget"? Or was it merely "He's a nidget," which was probably an eejit?
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 12:46
  • 1
    The graphic form may not have survived, but its spirit lives on in "an idjot" with a J
    – P. O.
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 12:53
  • 1
    eejit/idjot is still used in American dialect
    – John Feltz
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 13:06
  • 1
    Maybe the right question should have been "How many ways can idiot be pronounced in English?" Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 13:12
  • 1
    ...and a nidget, or nigeot, is no more than an idiot, carelessly spoken; and that is its exact meaning: books.google.it/…
    – user66974
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 13:33

1 Answer 1

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According to Google Trends, it is still alive, but dying:

enter image description here

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=nidget

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  • Surely a bloomin' nidget can never die! But those red minidgets I bet are goners for sure.
    – tchrist
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 5:51

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