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Could it simply be the 1865 version of doo-hicky or thingamabob?  All I
know is, there are a heck of a lot of sites on the Internet for flummy,
most of them in German.  Also a Newfoundland Heritage site with a
dictionary: "flummy n. also flummy dum [phonetics unavailable]. A kind of
bread made by hunters and trappers. Cp FUNNEL BUN."  So maybe the buttons?
looked like little flatbreads to him.  Naw.

Sylvia

On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Kristin Peterson-Ishaq wrote:

> Hi--
>
> The Center is publishing the Civil War letters of Chester K. Leach, a
> soldier from Fletcher, Vermont, and I am currently readying the manuscript
> for publication.
>
> I have a query about a word that Leach uses to describe shirts his wife had
> made for him. He writes:
>
> I was rather taken by surprise with the shirts, they being something that I
> was not looking for in the shape they are, but I must say that I think they
> cant be beat in these diggings. The cloth is very nice & the flummy-diddles
> are really charming & there is only one trouble that I can see & that is my
> desire to have them seen may make me forget to put on my coat and vest
> sometime & thereby suffer with the cold. Perhaps you think I dont like
> them, but I do and they are much better than I expected.
>
> My question is: What is a flummy-diddle? Does anyone know what it means? Is
> it still in use in Franklin County or elsewhere in Vermont?
>
> Any help will be much appreciated!
>
> Best,
> Kris
>
> ***********************************************************
> Kristin Peterson-Ishaq
> Coordinator, Center for Research on Vermont
>       and Vermont Studies Program
> University of Vermont
> 589 Main Street, Nolin House
> Burlington, VT  05401-3439
> Email: <[log in to unmask]>; Telephone: 802-656-8363
> Fax: 802-656-8518; Web site: <www.uvm.edu/~crvt>