An input device used for games like Pong, Breakout, and Kaboom. In the Atari world, a paddle was a black plastic unit that looked like a citizens band handset, with an orange trigger on the side and a dial an the top. Two paddles were joined at the computer's end of the cable to form one input. Each paddle had a value of 0-255, plus one bit to indicate whether the trigger was up or down.

An input device used for sending morse code. It is hooked up to a keyer (an electronic morse generator), which ensures that the dits, the dahs, and the pauses between them are of the correct relative length.

Paddles come in two flavours, with one lever or with two levers. Holding the lever of a one-lever paddle to the right yields a series of dits, and holding it to the left yields dahs. With a two-lever paddle, squeezing the left lever produces dits, and similar for the right one. But as long as both are squeezed, the morse generator will produce alternating dits and dahs, making letters like C, R and K very easy to send. Keyers with this property are called iambic keyers.

The paddle has both advantages and disadvantages compared to the straight key. Both rely on precise timing, but bad timing with a paddle is more difficult for the inexperienced operator to detect. While poor timing on a straight key only results in deciphering difficulties on the receiving end, bad timing on a paddle results in spurious dits and dahs, which the morse operator can hear and correct immediately.

The main reasons why most experienced morse code operators prefer paddles to straight keys, is that it requires less and smaller hand movements to send the same amount of text, and that it is possible to send it much faster (about four times, I think). Paddles are sometimes referred to as (electronic) bugs.

Pad"dle (?), v. i. [Prob. for pattle, and a dim. of pat, v.; cf. also E. pad to tread, Prov. G. paddeln, padden, to walk with short steps, to paddle, G. patschen to splash, dash, dabble, F. patouiller to dabble, splash, fr. patte a paw. .]


To use the hands or fingers in toying; to make caressing strokes.




To dabble in water with hands or feet; to use a paddle, or something which serves as a paddle, in swimming, in paddling a boat, etc.

As the men were paddling for their lives. L'Estrange.

While paddling ducks the standing lake desire. Gay.


© Webster 1913.

Pad"dle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Paddled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Paddling (?)]


To pat or stroke amorously, or gently.

To be paddling palms and pinching fingers. Shak.


To propel with, or as with, a paddle or paddles.


To pad; to tread upon; to trample.

[Prov. Eng.]


© Webster 1913.

Pad"dle, n. [See Paddle, v. i.]


An implement with a broad blade, which is used without a fixed fulcrum in propelling and steering canoes and boats.


The broad part of a paddle, with which the stroke is made; hence, any short, broad blade, resembling that of a paddle.

Thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon. Deut. xxiii. 13.


One of the broad boards, or floats, at the circumference of a water wheel, or paddle wheel.


A small gate in sluices or lock gates to admit or let off water; -- also called clough.

5. Zool.

A paddle-shaped foot, as of the sea turtle.


A paddle-shaped implement for string or mixing.

7. [In this sense prob. for older spaddle, a dim. of spade.]

See Paddle staff (b), below.

[Prov. Eng.]

Paddle beam Shipbuilding, one of two large timbers supporting the spring beam and paddle box of a steam vessel. -- Paddle board. See Paddle, n., 3. -- Paddle box, the structure inclosing the upper part of the paddle wheel of a steam vessel. -- Paddle shaft, the revolving shaft which carries the paddle wheel of a steam vessel. -- Paddle staff. (a) A staff tipped with a broad blade, used by mole catchers. [Prov. Eng.] (b) A long-handled spade used to clean a plowshare; -- called also plow staff. [Prov. Eng.] -- Paddle steamer, a steam vessel propelled by paddle wheels, in distinction from a screw propeller. -- Paddle wheel, the propelling wheel of a steam vessel, having paddles (or floats) on its circumference, and revolving in a vertical plane parallel to the vessel's length.


© Webster 1913.

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