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Fiddle

(Latin, fidis or fides). He was first fiddle. Chief man, the most distinguished of the company.

To play second fiddle.
To take a subordinate part. The allusion is to the leader of concerts, who leads with a fiddle.

The Scotch fiddle or Caledonian Cremona. The itch. As fiddlers scratch with a bow the strings of a fiddle, so persons suffering from skin-irritation keep scratching the part irritated.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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