This word is perhaps best known in Britain as a cricketing term when batsmen will sometimes nurdle the ball around the ground for ones and twos. Batsmen have also been known to nurdle the ball down to fine leg. For the uninitiated, fine leg is a fielding position behind square on the leg side. (The more one tries to explain cricketing terms, the more difficulties arise.) In America, a nurdle is the name for the correct amount of toothpaste to squeeze onto a toothbrush, a topic that was serious enough to prompt litigation between Colgate and Glaxo corporations. A nurdle is also the technical name in the plastics industry for the pre-production pellet from which all plastic products are made. The same name is used for the plastic residue that pollutes the oceans and which is killing many sea species. There are also claims that it is a term in the game of tiddlywinks. A player is apparently nurdled when he or she cannot play a wink that is too close to the target pot. This latter meaning appears to have been coined by Michael Bentine in his BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) TV series It’s a Square World (1960-1964). In the show, he invented a spoof pub game called drats played by yokels where the worst thing to befall a player was to be nurdled. The word was then picked up by Rambling Syd Rumpo (Kenneth Williams) in the BBC radio series Round the Horne. Rambling Syd sang one of his famous ditties to the tune of Early One Morning: “Early one morning, just as my splod was rising, I heard a maiden screaming in the valley below. Oh don’t you nurdle me, oh never nurdle me. Oh how could you use your courtwangle so.” By the late 1960s, the word started to appear in some dictionaries but not the OED. As to meanings and origins, the reader is left to choose and wonder.