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From the Dictionary of American Regional English Volume 2 p.500 it is defined as
"a frill, bauble, bit of finery". From the context I would suspect that it was a
piece of crocheting fixed on the shirt.









Quoting Kristin Peterson-Ishaq <[log in to unmask]>:

> 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>