E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Tom Tidlers Ground.
The ground or tenement of a sluggard. The expression occurs in Dickenss Christmas story, 1861. Tidler is a contraction of the idler or tidler. The game so called consists in this: Tom Tidler stands on a heap of stones, gravel, etc.; other boys rush on the heap crying, Here I am on Tom Tidlers ground, and Tom bestirs himself to keep the invaders off.