• Waste time; idle or busy oneself aimlessly.
  • (Futz around with) Deal with (something) in a trifling way; fiddle with.

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Example Sentences

“When you’re done futzing around with those engine parts, let’s go out to dinner.”

“I’m guilty of too much futzing when I have an assignment due.” 

“I don’t have any time to futz today; there’s too much going on.” 

Word Origin

Yiddish, 1930s

Why this word?

Has anyone ever accused you of futzing around? Or told you to “quit futzing around”? Even if you’ve never heard the word “futz” before, you likely understand it easily to mean “idly wasting time” or “fiddling about.” Perhaps this understanding comes from context clues, but it’s also because “futz” is an example of a phonestheme. These are words somewhat similar to onomatopoeia, but instead of being imitative of a sound (such as “bark” or “splat”), they seem to sound like or fit their definition intuitively. In addition to “futz,” phonesthemes include “hump,” “flutter,” “clamp,” “snarl,” and “thrash.” 

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