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(See also CURIOSITY.)

finger in the pie Meddlesome officiousness because of one’s interest in a matter or concern; an interest or share in some endeavor or enterprise; a piece of the pie or the action. This expression may derive from the propensity of some children to taste “Mom’s apple pie” by sticking a finger into it, often using “But I helped” as an excuse. Though the child may have had an interest or share in the project, his sticking a finger in does nothing to improve the final product. Though the expression may refer to legitimate or innocuous involvement, finger in the pie usually implies interference of a harmful or malicious nature.

The devil speed him! no man’s pie is freed
From his ambitious finger. (Shakespeare, Henry VIII, I, i)

gatemouth One who knows and discusses the affairs of others; a gossip, busybody. This American expression, deriving from Black English, implies that the “gate” to the mouth of a gossipmonger is perpetually opening and closing.

go between the bark and the tree To intervene in the private concerns of intimates; most specifically, to meddle in the affairs of husband and wife.

An instigator of quarrels between man and wife, or, according to the plebian but expressive apophthegm, one who would come between the bark and the tree. (Maria Edgeworth, Modern Griselda, 1804)

See also close as the bark to the tree, FRIENDSHIP.

guardhouse lawyer One who presumptuously gives advice; one who discusses matters of which he knows nothing. This expression is traced to soldiers who, deeming themselves authorities on military law, counsel their peers on a variety of military matters Today, the term is often used disparagingly to describe a pretentious meddler.

Meddlesome Matty An officious meddler, a busybody; one with a finger in every pie and an ear to every keyhole. This epithet, from the title of a poem by Ann Taylor, has been in common American use since the early 1800s. Webster’s Third cites a contemporary usage by Walter Lippmann:

When men insist that morality is more than that, they are quickly denounced … as Meddlesome Matties.

Nosey Parker A busybody, a sticky-beak. Apparently originally a descriptive term for one with an excessively large nose, nosey became in concept nosy ‘inquisitive, prying’ and the epithet is now restricted to that usage.

“But Nosey Parker is what I call him,” she said. “He minds everybody’s business as well as his own.” (P. G. Wodehouse, Something Fresh, 1915)

Paul Pry A busybody, a meddler; a nosy, interfering person. Paul Pry was the meddlesome hero of a play by the same name written by Englishman John Poole in 1825. A popular Briticism, the phrase is relatively unknown in the United States.

The magistrate … ought to be a perfect jack-of-all-trades … Paul Pry in every house, spying, eaves-dropping, relieving, admonishing [etc.]. (Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, 1829)

put in one’s oar To interfere in another’s affairs; to meddle in private matters; to intrude or butt in. This expression, a shortening of the original put one’s oar in another’s boat, is still heard occasionally.

Now, don’t you put your oar in, young woman. You’d best stand out of the way, you had! (Sir Walter Besant, The Children of Gibeon, 1886)

quidnunc A busybody or gossip. This expression, derived from the literal translation of the Latin quid nunc ‘what now?’, was first used in Arthur Murphy’s The Upholsterer, or What News? (1757). The term maintains some frequency in the United States and Great Britain.

He was a sort of scandalous chronicle of the quidnuncs of Granada. (Washington Irving, The Alhambra, 1832)

stickybeak A busybody, quidnunc, or newsmonger. This Australian slang term clearly alludes to someone who thrusts his nose into everyone else’s business.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Meddlesomeness - aggressiveness as evidenced by intrudingmeddlesomeness - aggressiveness as evidenced by intruding; by advancing yourself or your ideas without invitation
aggressiveness - the quality of being bold and enterprising
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈmedlsəmnɪs] Nentrometimiento m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
References in classic literature ?
Must not injustice be a strife which arises among the three principles-- a meddlesomeness, and interference, and rising up of a part of the soul against the whole, an assertion of unlawful authority, which is made by a rebellious subject against a true prince, of whom he is the natural vassal,--what is all this confusion and delusion but injustice, and intemperance and cowardice and ignorance, and every form of vice?
Minute followed minute in which I looked at nothing, and could think of nothing, but the stolen bullion at my feet; then I gathered what of the dust I could, pocketed it in pinches to hide my meddlesomeness, and blew the rest away.
But the matter- of-fact young telephonists agreed to lay the blame on "induction"--a hazy word which usually meant the natural meddlesomeness of electricity.
Speaking on behalf of the splinter group in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, Professor Shola Omotola said, 'That the stage-managed suppression of the popular will by the zone and their unbridled meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of the FUOYE branch, have become part of the problems to be solved.
But when, several years later, Peirce first put these ideas in print, (13) he deliberately avoided using the word "pragmatism" (14)--as he later wrote, he dared not use it, because the specialized sense he gave the term was so far removed from its usual meaning at that time (15) (and also, no doubt, because that usual meaning, now obsolete, was distinctly pejorative: "officious meddlesomeness").
In the United States, there exist pockets of innovation to create more empowering forms of citizen participation, but these pockets are built within broader systems biased to a view that public administration should suffer the meddlesomeness of citizens without allowing citizens to interfere with the efficiency of government operations (to paraphrase Woodrow Wilson).
Taking a cue from Apparadurai's theory of counter-nationalism, protest against the arbitrary creation of Nigeria manifests in the repudiation of the identified British colonial meddlesomeness. This condemnation reflects in the aftermath postcolonial, political mismanagement by the military institution which has often led to a sustained discontent that abound in the two poems.
Government sprawl and meddlesomeness mock the idea that government is transparent.