I just asked a question on The Great Outdoors SE about snowshoes, and said that I found large snowshoes hard to manipulate, and then changed manipulate to pedipulate, not even knowing if that was a word. But it is! Oxford Living Dictionaries says of pedipulate:


[with object] To work with the feet. Chiefly humorous

And then says of its origin:

Late 19th century; earliest use found in Family Herald. Humorously from pedi- + -pulate, after manipulate.

I looked up pedipulate, synonyms and, on the first two pages of the Google response, found no synonyms. The closest I got was on Foboko, which said:

Synonyms for pedipulate

No synonyms were found for this word

But this source did not have a definition or a sample sentence either, so they know less than I do. And on page two, the search degenerated into "how to use uttermost in a sentence", which is unhelpful to the uttermost.

One could, of course, use phrases like "less clumsy", but is there an unhumorous synonym for pedipulate? I could even use manipulate and people would know what I meant, but is manipulate the only non-humorous answer to my Q?

Sample sentence: I find it difficult to ____________ large snowshoes.

Response to Comment of @1006a: A generic term is too easy. I'd like something that references feet or brings feet immediately to mind.

  • You need to add a sample sentence where you would use pedipulate,
    – user 66974
    Dec 2, 2018 at 19:34
  • 1
    I was thinking of suggesting manoeuver, but that has the same problem. How about pedoeuver? :-) Dec 2, 2018 at 20:26
  • @user240918 The sample use is embedded in the first sentence of the Q, but I will make it explicit since that seems to be necessary.
    – ab2
    Dec 2, 2018 at 22:03
  • @Peter Schor -- pedoeuver, as used by the Rev. Asa Mahan (1799 to 1889) in A System of Intellectual Philosophy, and referring to bees. "the bees had recourse again to the same manoeuver (or rather pedoeuver),....". 1854
    – ab2
    Dec 2, 2018 at 22:17
  • Do you want a word that specifically references the feet, or just something that doesn't reference the hands? If a generic term would work, I think you could use operate or steer or similar. FWIW, one of the OED's attestations for pedipulate is actually in reference to show shoes, so you have precedent ;-).
    – 1006a
    Dec 2, 2018 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


The esteemed Oxford English Dictionary can only supply definition No. 7 of tread

7. transitive. To press (something) downwards with the foot or feet treadling or pedalling.

The nearer the fore-end of the Treddle you tread, the easier you bring down the Pole.

I don't know how much help this is, but I think it's your best bet.

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