E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
or Dottrel. A doting old fool; an old man easily cajoled. The bird thus called, a species of plover, is said to be so fond of imitation that any one who excites its curiosity by strange antics may catch it.
To dor the dotterel. Dor is an archaic word meaning to trick or cheat. Whence the phrase to dor the dotterel means to cheat the simpleton.