intr.v. futzed, futz·ing, futz·es
1. To waste time or effort on frivolities; fool. Often used with around: "He used to look down on fellows like Shanley for studying so much, and for not drinking and dancing and futzing around the way he and Marty and Tim had" (James T. Farrell).
2. To fiddle, trifle, or tamper with something. Often used with with: Stop futzing with the camera and take the picture.
[Perhaps partial translation and alteration of Yiddish arumfartsn (zikh), to fart around : arum-, around + fartsn, to fart (from Middle High German varzen; see perd- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.