Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HODDLE, v., n.1 Also ho(a)dle, hoddel. [hɔdl]

I. v. 1. To waddle, to move with an uneven hobbling gait as an old person, to walk with quick short steps (Lnk. 1793 D. Ure Hist. Rutherglen 95; Ags. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ags., Edb., Dmf. 1957). Vbl.n. hoadlin. Sc. 1724  Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 24:
Thy haff shut een and hodling air, Are a' my passion's fewel.
Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
“Ye shall hae that for a tune of the pipes, Steenie,” said the appearance of Sir Robert — “Play us up ‘Weel hoddled, Luckie.'”
Slg. 1841  R. M. Stupart Harp Strila 142:
Some are hoddlin' on auld ponies.
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 137:
Joost a hirplin, hoddlin, hamely woman.
Bnff. 1853  Banffshire Jnl. (21 June):
To hoddle on wi' kellach creels.
Dmf. 1861  R. Quinn Heather Lintie 162:
Ye vain coquettes wha flirt aboot, And scarce for pride can hoddle.
Ags. 1899  W. F. McHardy Poems 61:
Hoolie wi' yer hoadlin' awee.

Hence combs. and deriv.: (1) hoddel-dochlin, dawdling. Cf. Dochle; (2) hoddle-madock, “a squat or stumpy waddling person” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Cf. Dock; ¶(3) hodle-makenster, lit. “that makes to hoddle,” of a woman's skirt because of its tightness or cut. The formation is that of a n. with -ster ending; (4) hodler, one who hoddles; specif. applied to one of the participants in the baking of cakes for St Luke's Fair at Rutherglen, phs. from the motion of the body in kneading (see quot). (1) Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) x.:
He's a hoddel-dochlin', hungert-lookin' wisgan o' a cratur.
(3) Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 139:
There sits . . . sniveling Kate wi' her hodle-makenster coat.
(4) Lnk. 1793  D. Ure Hist. Rutherglen 95:
The woman who toasts the cakes . . . is called the Queen or Bride, and the rest her . . . maidens . . . She who sits next the fire, towards the east, is called the Todler; her companion on the left hand is called the Hodler . . . the todler . . . takes a ball of the dough, forms it into a small cake, and then casts it on the bake-board of the hodler, who beats it out a little thinner.

2. To bustle about, to “mill around.” Edb. 1791  J. Learmont Poems 194:
Syne round her a' her servants made to hoddle, An' paid them a' their wages to a boddle.
Ags. 1853  W. Blair Aberbrothock 93:
The streets were rale thrang on that nicht, I mind, men an' women a' hoddlin like a bee-byke.

II. n. 1. A waddling gait, a quick toddling step (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Kcb.3 1929). Phr. to hain one's hoddle, to relax one's pace or effort, to take things easy, to spare oneself trouble. See also Hune. wm.Sc. 1837  Laird of Logan 310:
I ne'er hain't my hoddle till I came to Barr's Brae.
Lnk. a.1838  Jam. MSS. XI. 80:
Ye may hain your hoddle.

2. By extension: sexual intercourse. Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 63:
Ta'en ane anithers word, a kiss, and a hoddle, at the hillock side.

[Hod + freq. suff. -le.]

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"Hoddle v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Dec 2018 <>



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