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Difference between Be on the fiddle and Fiddle about

be on the fiddle —(sl.) be involved in illicit money-making activities:

  • As it was day-time, everyone in the coffee bar was on the dole or on the fiddle.

fiddle about—(coll.) mess about or waste time:

  • I’ve been fiddling about for ages trying to get the windscreen washers to work properly.