Can anyone tell me where the word "Fudge" originates from?
The etymology is rather fuzzy, but the sense of bending-the-rules originates in England around the mid-1600's and the confection about a century later.

I theorize that its a contrivance of "fake" or "false" (from the Latin fallere, "to deceive," BTW) mixed with "smudge" (from the Middle English smogen). "False" + "smudge" just seems intuitively correct, as a native speaker of Enlgish, and as connected to other facts of such word formations, but there seems to be very little by way of objective data on it.

Lewis Joplin II
FUDGE - "Isaac D'Israeli, father of the British prime minister, had an interesting story about the word 'fudge,' for 'lies or nonsense,' in his Curiosities of Literature (1791): 'There was sir, in our time one Captain Fudge, commander of a merchantman, who upon his return from a voyage, how illfrought soever his ship was, always brought home a good cargo of lies, so much that now aboard ship the sailors, when they hear a great lie told, cry out 'You fudge it!' A notorious liar named Captain Fudge, called 'Lying Fudge,' did live in 17th century England. His name, possibly in combination with the German word 'futch,' 'no good,' may well be the source of the word 'fudge.' Where the word 'fudge' for candy comes from no one seems to know, though it probably dates back to the 19th century." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997)

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