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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj footling (informal) small and of little importance "a fiddling sum of money","a footling gesture","our worries are lilliputian compared with those of countries that are at war","a little (or small) matter","a dispute over niggling details","limited to petty enterprises","piffling efforts","giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n footling A small foot.
    • n footling Anything no bigger than one's foot.
    • footling Having the foot foremost: applied in obstetrics to cases in which a foot presents.
    • n footling One of the strips of board which run longitudinally on top of the frames in the bottom of a boat.
    • ***


In literature:

She felt it was a footling question even as she asked it.
"All Roads Lead to Calvary" by Jerome K. Jerome
Footling people, you mean.
"Heartbreak House" by George Bernard Shaw
He said that all them footling little beasts were a-listening to 'em, and they told him all about it.
"The Fortunate Youth" by William J. Locke
For anything simpler than distributing a few footling books to a bunch of grimy-faced kids I can't imagine.
"Right Ho, Jeeves" by P. G. Wodehouse
They always will footle in this way.
"New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1" by Various
And you refuse your footling little insignificant self.
"Jaffery" by William J. Locke
What are you footling round here for?
"Acton's Feud" by Frederick Swainson
Of course, he would just footle; he always had.
"The Lee Shore" by Rose Macaulay
It all arose from a most "footling" source.
"The Loom of Youth" by Alec Waugh
And really, your objections, if you won't mind my saying so, are absolutely footling.
"In Brief Authority" by F. Anstey
I asked that footling ass Bland-Potterton.
"The Island Mystery" by George A. Birmingham
Seems as if everything were too small and footling to matter.
"Notwithstanding" by Mary Cholmondeley
According to Jim, his sister-in-law played a footling game.
"The Stronger Influence" by F.E. Mills Young
All the rest is footle, compared with it.
"The Honour of the Clintons" by Archibald Marshall
They are such creatures of habit; you could see that from their sticking on in expectation of that footling old miracle all day!
"The Hosts of the Lord" by Flora Annie Steel
In footling cases the pubes, ribs, and clavicles, are the best.
"Surgical Instruments in Greek and Roman Times" by John Stewart Milne
Of the nates cases the child was born dead in the proportion of 1 to 3.8, and in the footling births 1 to 2.8.
"A System of Midwifery" by Edward Rigby