Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
HARROWBILL, n. Also †harrowbell, †harobill, harroble, -abel; †hurrobill. [′hɑrɔbəl]
1. One of the cross-bars or spars of a harrow (Ork. 1887 Jam.).
Ags. 1702 R. Finlayson Arbroath Documents (1923):
Ane barrow, 4 hurrobills and 12 scowes. Ork. 1734 P. Ork. A.S. (1923) I. 65:
Six new ploughs, three new birks, three harrowbells, one hand speck, Seven souples, five old shovels and one new. Bnff. 1780 Aberdeen Jnl. (9 Oct.):
A great Parcel of Birch Axletrees and Harrowbills of a very large size.
Hence harbilly, adj., like a harrow, and, by extension, rough and prickly; used esp. of a stocking knitted tightly in a coarse wool (Ork. 1929 Marw.).
2. A kind of hard wood formerly imported into Shetland from Norway (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), harrabel), prob. so called from its use in the manufacture of harrows.
3. A miserable, bony animal, emaciated person. Also used attrib.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
A harrabel o' bens, a living skeleton . . . a harrabel craeter.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Harrowbill n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/harrowbill>
Try an Advanced Search