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A typical padiddle

Padiddle, also spelled pediddle, perdiddle and kadiddle, is an American slang term for a vehicle with a burnt-out headlight or brake light, as well as the name for a night-time travel game involving spotting such vehicles.



The objective is to be the first to spot a qualifying vehicle. The spotter must say "Padiddle" to earn a sighting. In some groups, the spotter must simultaneously hit the ceiling of the car, and in others, punch another passenger. The person with the highest score at the end of the trip is the winner.

An older version calls for the person who calls "Padiddle" to get a kiss from another person in the vehicle. There is also a racier version of the game where the last person to hit the ceiling is supposed to take off an article of clothing.[citation needed]


The word "padiddle" first appeared in print in a 1948 B. Montana Archie comic strip, published in the Nevada State Journal on 23 May (Comics section). The girl in the comic said, "Let's play ‘padiddle’.‥ When a car goes by with one headlight if I say padiddle you have to give me a kiss!" [1]

This became a flirting game in the 1950s (attested in Allentown, Pennsylvania and other nearby places.) The person calling "padiddle" was entitled to kiss their partner. A variant developed in which if the boy said "padiddle" first, he kissed the girl, but if the girl said "padiddle" first, she could either kiss or slap the boy.

In popular culture


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition; quoted at