Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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RAUCLE, adj., n., v. Also raukle, rac(k)le, rackel, -il; ruckle (Ags. a.1892 Bards Ags. (Reid 1898) 134); rauchle, -el, raughle, -el; rachle. [rkl, rxl]

I. adj. 1. Bold, impetuous, impulsive, rash in speech or action (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also in n.Eng. dial. Comb. rackle-handed, id. (Sc. 1818 Sawers). Deriv. rauclesome, id. (Fif. 1967). Sc. 1715  R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) II. 39:
I suspect this will be a very rackle-handed committee.
Sc. 1824  J. Wilson Tournay i.:
Ducholly is a wee thought thin-skinned in matters of military preceesion — he's ready and rackle-handed forbye.
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 166:
He'll find her [Britain] yet the same in war — A raucle, ready-haundit kimmer.
Per. 1895  R. Ford Tayside Songs 178:
When rauchle, gamesome laddies, oor hearts alowe wi' glee.

2. (1) Of persons or things: strong, sturdy, stout, robust, standing up well to hard usage or old age (Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 693; Cld. 1825 Jam.; Ayr. 1904 E.D.D.). Deriv. rackleness, raucleness, vigour and freshness in old age (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Comb. rackle-handit, having strong, powerful hands. Sc. 1819  J. Rennie St. Patrick I. xv.:
Our bit curragh's no that rackle sin it got a stane on Monanday was aughtnights.
Sc. 1821  Scots. Mag. (March) 201:
That rackle vet'ran up the brae.
Slk. 1836  Fraser's Mag. (May) 617:
I hae had but two gudemen, stout, rackle chaps, baith o' them.
Fif. c.1850  R. Peattie MS.:
Rackel-handit smiddy Jock, A' blackened ower wi' coom an' smoke.
Rnf. 1861  J. Barr Poems 158:
Wale for ane wi' rackle nieves, And strength to haud a pleugh.
Fif. 1875  A. Burgess Poute 69:
It — as a recklis — rackil wild invention.
Ags. 1901  W. J. Milne Reminisc. 292:
Syne Grigg o' the Steen, rackle handit an' stark, Ca'd oot, “Noo, ma freends, lat huz a' get tae wark”.

(2) fig.: hard, stern, inexorable, acting in a rough, grim or unbending manner. Deriv. rauchly, and comb. rackle-handed, id. Slk. 1818  Hogg B. of Bodsbeck x.:
Is the rackle hand o' steelrife power to make a handle o' that to grind the very hearts of the just and the good?
Sc. 1823  Scots Mag. (Sept.) 339:
Though country justices may sometimes be what is vulgarly called rackle-handed, they are, withal, efficient and thorough-going.
Per. 1879  R. Ford Tayside Songs 300:
Like Robin's sel', thou's got a dower, Ower human hearts a rauchle power.
Abd. 1882  W. Forsyth Writings 13:
An' sall it be? Whare honor rests, Sall rauchle greed lay on her han'.
Ags. 1894  A. Reid Songs 32, 79:
Arles o' the fit that's comin' Swith to ding the rauchly cauld . . . Sae rauchly were their warlock clauchts, Wi' dunts o' stane an' fiery flauchts.
Sc. 1953  Scots Mag. (June) 174:
Abeen them raxed a runkl't broo That care hud cloor't wi' rauchle han.

3. Of persons, rarely of things: rough, crude, tough, unrestrained, uncouth, rustic (Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XIII. 35). Deriv. rachlie, dirty and disorderly (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Ayr. 1786  Burns Jolly Beggars Recit. 4:
Then niest outspak a raucle carlin, Wha kent fu' weel to cleek the sterlin.
Edb. 1829  G. Wilson Sc. Laverock 181:
Revenge upon the racle loon.
Lnk. 1895  T. Stewart Miners 89, 205:
'Mang raucle colliers — sair misca'd “A reckless wild unfeeling squad” . . . Oor turf biggit biels on the Leven, lang syne, Antique an' rauchle, but fair to see.
Ags. 1895  Caledonia I. 192:
Lang rachlie Nannie, thro' age growin' cannie.
Sc. 1928  Scots Mag. (May) 142:
Aye, he wis Scotch eneuch noo — raucle a'maist, ye micht say.

4. Of speech: rough, unpolished, bold, blunt to the point of rudeness. Comb. rauckle-tongued, having a ready unrestrained manner of speech. Now only liter. Ayr. 1786  Burns Earnest Cry xxiii.:
Auld Scotland has a raucle tongue; She's jist a devil wi' a rung.
Ayr. 1833  J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 198:
Ye'll maybe think that I'm a wee thocht raucle-tongued, that is, a kenning loud, and barefaced in my way.
Gsw. 1860  J. Young Poorhouse Lays 124:
But noo puir Tibbie's ruckle tongue . . . Wad louner'd him.
Rnf. 1870  J. Nicholson Idylls 46:
Baith canker'd auld carle, an' raucle-tongued jaudie.
e.Lth. 1908  J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 25:
Tho' rauckled [sic]-tongued an' leein'-mou'd ye be.
Sc. 1945  Scots Mag. (Oct.) 79:
Those throat-searchings and raucle mouthings of which the older tongue knew nothing, and which so many believe to be one of the virtues of the vernacular.

II. n. Nonce usages: 1. A rough, rugged fellow, an unmannerly person, a boor. Wgt. 1877  “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 199:
Yon red-headed raughel, ye'll no' get him, nor the table aither.
Kcb. 1900  Gallovidian No. 6, 59:
A great lang rauchel of a fellow . . . who was reckoned a fearless sort of dare-devil who cared nothing for ghosts, fairies, kelpies, broonies.

2. A harsh nagging way of speaking. Gsw. 1877  A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 203:
She had a raucle o' a tongue, An' made his fashes double.

III. v. Only in ppl.adj. rachlin, applied to a noisy, unruly, scatterbrained person. n.Sc. 1808  Jam.:
A rachlin queyn, a woman who talks loud and at random.

[O.Sc. raklie, rapidly, impetuously, c.1470; rackel, = 1., c.1679; Mid.Eng. rakele, = 1. Of obscure origin.]

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"Raucle adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Nov 2018 <>



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