For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.
Boodle is apparently from the Dutch word boedel, originally meaning property or riches. In American slang in the mid-19th century, it extended its meaning to include dirty money or graft, possibly under the influence of the word bundle. (Or some sources suggest that it came from bundle rather than from Dutch.)
Cassidy claims that it comes from babhtáil, an Irish word (based on a loan-word from English – it is related to about and bout) meaning exchange. On sound alone, the Dutch word is much closer to English boodle than babhtáil, which is pronounced bough-tile. There is no evidence in support of Cassidy’s claim of an Irish origin for boodle.