When we hear the word ‘fiddle,’ we often think of a musical instrument. However, the term ‘fiddle’ has a much broader meaning that extends beyond music. In this article, we will explore the various definitions and contexts in which the word ‘fiddle’ is used.


In the realm of music, a fiddle refers to a string instrument that is played with a bow. It is commonly associated with folk and country music, where fiddlers use the instrument to create lively and upbeat tunes. The fiddle has a distinct sound that sets it apart from other string instruments like the violin.

Figurative Meaning

Besides its musical connotation, ‘fiddle’ can also be used in a figurative sense. When someone is said to be ‘fiddling’ with something, it means they are tinkering or adjusting it in a casual or nonchalant manner. For example, a person might be fiddling with their phone while waiting for a friend.

Deception and Fraud

Another interpretation of ‘fiddle’ is related to deception or fraud. When someone is accused of ‘fiddling the books’ or ‘fiddling expenses,’ it implies that they are manipulating financial records for personal gain. This negative connotation of the word is often used in legal and financial contexts.

Case Studies

One famous case of fiddling in the financial world is the Enron scandal. The energy company was found to have fiddled its accounting records to inflate profits and deceive investors. This led to the company’s bankruptcy and the imprisonment of several executives.

On a lighter note, fiddling can also refer to the act of improvising or playing around with a piece of music. Fiddlers are known for their ability to add embellishments and variations to traditional tunes, creating a unique and dynamic sound.


According to a survey conducted by Gallup, 10% of people admitted to fiddling with their expenses at work. This behavior can have serious consequences, including disciplinary action or termination. It is essential for organizations to have robust financial controls in place to prevent fiddling and fraud.


In conclusion, the meaning of ‘fiddle’ is multifaceted and encompasses various interpretations ranging from music to deception. Whether used in a positive or negative context, the word ‘fiddle’ carries with it a sense of creativity and manipulation. Understanding the different meanings and connotations of ‘fiddle’ can help us navigate its usage in our everyday lives.