E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Devil rides on a Fiddlestick (The).
Much ado about nothing. Beaumont and Fletcher, Shakespeare, and others, use the phrase. Fiddlesticks! as an exclamation, means rubbish! nonsense! When the prince and his merry companions are at the Boars Head, first Bardolph rushes in to warn them that the sheriffs officers are at hand, and anon enters the hostess to put her guests on their guard. But the prince says, Heres a devil of a row to make about a trifle (or The devil rides on a fiddlestick) (1 Henry IV., ii. 2), and hiding some of his companions, he stoutly faces the sheriffs officers and brow beats them.