briggle v [Cf Scots, nEngl, nIr dial broggle to bungle, to patch [etc] and Scots breeghle “To make little progress, with much waddling and bustle, in going through any work” (DSL)]
1 often with around, less freq about, along: To bustle about, usu ineffectually; to potter about; to tinker (with something); hence vbl n briggling pottering, wasting time; ppl adj briggling ineffectual. chiefly N Midl
1889 Jrl. Amer. Folkl. 2.155 OH, Briggle.—To be in an uneasy mental condition, to shift the attention rapidly from one thing to another. “Don’t briggle so.” 1899 Myers Thad Perkins 74 IN, I ’lowed y’u were jes brigglin’ ’n’ cruderin’ roun’ ’n’ y’u mought holp me find my hogs. 1899 TX Med. Jrl. 15.13, While the only rational treatment is not popular to our patients, let us not risk their future well-being by a weak policy of postponment [sic] or briggling therapeutics. 1901 Kokomo Daily Tribune (IN) 11 Oct 8/1, It was an Anderson firm that built the new High school building here a few years ago and briggled along several months beyond the time limit. 1905 in 2017 DARE File—Internet swWI, Snowing all day. I’ve briggled and puttered at the work all day and done but little. 1908 Charlotte Daily Observer (NC) 26 May 3/3, It would have been . . a good game but for the detestable tardiness of Walsh, catcher, who “briggled” around as if he had a week to do his work. 1912 DN 3.572 wIN, Briggle. . . To busy oneself without purpose; to potter. “He never stops brigglin’ around.” 1922 Creston Daily Advt. (IA) 20 Apr 8/5, [Advt:] A special sale of Rugs Saturday. . . Don’t come briggling around here unless you are looking for Bargains. 1930s in 1944 ADD eWV, ‘Stop brigglin’ with that.’ Common. 1938 Daily Telegram (Mechanicsburg OH) 24 Mar 1/3, One woman told us she had no room in her home but briggled about trying to find one near by. 1942 Elgin Echo (IA) [16 Apr 4]/1 (newspaperarchive.com), He is 18 years old and his favorite pasttime [sic] is, quote: “just brigglin around”. 1944 Adams Co. Free Press (Corning IA) 6 Jan sec A 1/6, We could take a few lessons from the Germans who tollerate [sic] no such briggling and stalling. 1953 Newark Advocate & Amer. Tribune (OH) 16 May 4/2, Certain people do a lot of briggling around. They waste 80 per cent of their effort. 1967 DARE (Qu. A10, . . Somebody asks, “What are you doing?” and you answer, “Nothing in particular, I’m just _____.” ) Inf IA8, Briggling around. [Inf old] 2010 in 2017 DARE File—Internet sePA, He loved . . “briggling around” on projects in his basement workshop. 2014 Ibid cwMO, I am currently briggling with pics, hopefully have some up next day or two. 2015 Ibid IA, And the collection of songs from the 1930’s is soooo much fun to listen to when I’m cleaning and just briggling around my apartment.
2 To mishandle, bungle; hence n briggler bungler.
1908 Batten’s Wedge 10.1.10, There are still a plenty of brigglers at advertising, as at all other trades, who blunder away with the methods of long ago. 1913 Attica Ledger–Press (IN) [28 Mar 11]/2 (newspaperarchive.com), That the recent Indiana legislature briggled the job sadly when it adopted the carnation as the official state flower is apparent to any one that gives the matter half a minute of serious thought.