Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SHAUCHLE, v., n., adj. Also -el, s(c)hachle, -el, -il, sha(u)ghle, schauchle; shochel, s(c)ho(a)chle; shuchle, sh(e)ughle; sha(u)ckle, shuckle, shaucle, shockle; ¶shaugle. [ʃxl, ʃɑxl]

I. v. 1. (1) intr. To walk without lifting the feet, to shuffle, shamble, walk in an ungainly, heavy-footed manner (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Ork. 1958 Ork. Herald (25 Feb.) 3, shuckle). Gen.(exc.I.)Sc. Also transf. and fig. Also of one's shoes: to scuffle, fit loosely, be slack. Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 142:
Had you such a Shoe on every Foot, you would shochel.
Abd. 1813  D. Anderson Poems 117:
Gutty carlies schochlin rin.
Sc. 1817  Hogg in Blackwood's Mag. (April) 23:
Off comes Geordie, shaugle shauglin a' his pith. [Works (1837) II. 152: shaughle shaughlin.]
Sc. 1835  Wilson's Tales of the Borders I. 149:
Dinna let yer shoon be shaughlin aff yer feet in that gaet.
Slg. c.1860  Trans. Slg. Arch. Soc. (1923) 23:
Wi' bauchles a' slaiggered owre, A lassie shauchled through thick an' thin.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) ii.:
Sandy gaed shauchlin' oot at the door.
Arg. 1896  N. Munro Lost Pibroch 187:
The amadan laughed at her, and went shauchling down to the cotter's.
Edb. 1900  E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 10:
The sight o' John Jamieson shaughlin doon the road after seein' him marchin' through the toon like a sojer.
ne.Sc. 1929  M. W. Simpson Day's End 19:
When the shadows are shauchlin', black an' blin'.
Sc. 1970  Scots Mag (Jan.) 369:
An ungainly flat-bottomed boat shauchling drunkenly on a heavy swell.

(2) tr. To wear a garment, shoes, etc., out of shape, to twist or buckle by rough usage, to distort (wm.Sc., Kcb. 1970). Sc. 1808  Jam.:
He has shachilt aw his schoon.
Lnk. 1893  J. Crawford Sc. Verses 35:
Sma' fear o' ticht shoon raisin' corns on his taes, They ne'er shauchlet the feet o' Kate Galloway's Tam.

(3) Derivs.: ppl.adjs. (i) shauchlin, (a) of persons, animals or their gait; unsteady or weak on one's feet, shambling, shuffling, knock-kneed, wearing worn-out shoes (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; n., m. and s.Sc. 1970); of shoes: out of shape, down at heel and worn, badly-fitting (Sc. 1832 Scott Works XXXIX. 508; Watson; Bnff., Abd., Fif., w.Lth., wm. and s.Sc. 1970); of other articles: rickety, ramshackle, wobbly; also fig. of persons; poor-spirited, paltry, wavering, undependable, unworthy; (b) as a n., phs. by confusion with -Lin(g), suff.: a puny ill-developed person, a weakling; (ii) shachled, shachl't, = (i) (a) (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Per., Ayr. 1915–23 Wilson; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Sc. 1970). Phr. shaughled shoes, worn-out and discarded shoes, used fig. of an abandoned sweetheart, an old flame. See Shae, n., 2.; (iii) shauchlie, -y, sheughly = (i) (a) (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 270; ne. and m.Sc. 1970). Combs. shauchlie-bowlie, bandy-legged (Fif., Lnk. 1970). Cf. Bowlie, adj.; shauchlie-fittit, shambling (Ayr. 1928); shauchlie-leggit, -shanked, bandy-legged. Deriv. shauchleyness, weakness or deformity in the legs, knock-kneedness; (iv) shochelsome, shuffling, heavy or ungainly on one's feet. (i) (a) Dmf. 1806  Scots Mag. (March) 206:
Waddlin' Sam, the shauchlin' ferlie.
Sc. 1823  Lockhart Reg. Dalton III. 119:
Yon poor shaughlin' in-kneed bit scray!
Sc. 1826  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 186:
A bit schachlin ewe-necked powney.
Gsw. 1855  Glasgow Past & Present (Pagan 1884) II. 300:
Can you gi'e me a wee pickle 'oo to stap in the neb o' my shune, for they're unco shachlan?
Abd. 1868  G. MacDonald R. Falconer i. iv.:
I'm ower shochlin' for a sodger.
Uls. 1886  W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xxix:
He's a great big awkward, shughlin kind o' fellow.
Sc. 1896  Stevenson W. Hermiston iii.:
I would send no man to be a servant to the King that has proved such a shauchling son to his own father.
Dmf. 1917  J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 51:
A shauchlin' wheeled perambulator.
Ags. 1928  Scots Mag. (May) 142:
He had grown into an auld shauclin' carle.
Bnff. 1934  J. M. Caie Kindly North 6:
A shogglin', shauchlin' cairt.
(b) Dmb. 1868  J. Salmon Gowodean 77:
A bruckit shachlan, nought about you hale.
Per. 1895  I. Maclaren Auld Lang Syne 236:
Ye micht ca' him a shachlin' cratur.
(ii) Sc. 1736  Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 86:
Ye shape shoon by your ain shachled feet.
Ayr. 1795  Burns Last May vii.:
And how her new shoon fit her auld shachl't feet.
Sc. 1819  Scott Bride of Lamm. xxviii.:
Bucklaw was welcome to the wearing of Ravenswood's shaughled shoes.
Dmf. 1825  Jam.:
She's baith shochled and sheyld.
Sc. 1827  G. R. Kinloch Ballad Book 53:
I saw a puggie wearing boots, And he had but shachled cutes.
Ags. 1853  W. Blair Aberbrothock 45:
A' the wabsters an' shaughled oondocht bodies i' the toon.
Kcb. 1893  Crockett Raiders xlvi.:
Silver Sand wi' his bit scythe an' his lang shauchelt airms.
s.Sc. 1898  E. Hamilton Mawkin xi.:
We'se find wha's glinked our scogie-lass, And gar him fill his shackled shoon.
Lnk. 1910  C. Fraser Glengonnar 47:
Onybody Easie didna like she ca'ed them shachl't. . . . “He's a shachl't-lookin' crater yon.”
Edb. 1923  W. D. Lyell Justice Clerk i.:
Red hair, white face, and shauchled legs!
(iii) Sc. 1830  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 70:
That wee shauchly body the Marquis o' Winchester.
Rnf. 1870  J. Nicholson Idylls 121:
The fleetest racer e'er ye saw was ance a shaughlie foal.
Ags. 1886  A. Willock Rosetty Ends 162:
They had a limp shauchleyness aboot their legs.
Fif. 1896  D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 272:
Hey! for another ride in a shauchly gig down the pitch-black roads.
Kcb. 1901  R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 167:
They wur that lang an shilpit an shauchly.
Lnk. 1926  W. Queen We're A' Coortin' 24:
Ay, an' aboot her man tae — the wee, shauchly-leggit bauchle that he is.
wm.Sc. 1943  J. Bridie Mr Bolfry i.:
A breed of men that has not died out even in this shauchly generation.
Gsw. 1958  People's Jnl. (6 Dec.):
He's jist a wee shauchly-shanked craitur.
(iv) ne.Sc. 1950  Northern Scot (23 Dec.):
Scotswoman, describing attempts of a raw rustic at a three-some reel: “At first he was some shochel-some, syne he got intae the stotter o't.”

2. With aff: to shuffle or shake off, as by wriggling, get rid of, discard (Abd., Kcd. 1970). Bnff. 1924  Swatches o' Hamespun 83:
An antrin een tried te shochle him aff.
Abd. 1961  Buchan Observer (7 March):
Shocklin' aff her bits o' duds.

II. n. 1. A shuffling, shambling gait (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd., Kcb. 1970). Sc. 1920  D. Rorie Auld Doctor 26:
Yet the Deil has General Wade For learnin's the shauchle instead o' the step Wi' the weary wark o' a spade.

2. An old worn-out shoe or slipper (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); anything worn-out or dilapidated, a rickety ramshackle instrument or erection (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). ¶Also attrib. Rnf. 1835  D. Webster Rhymes 194:
There'll be gude tents an' shachels, For drinkers to roar an' to rift.
Ags. 1848  Feast of Liter. Crumbs (1891) 17:
Farewell my tatter'd, toil-worn bachals, Though now a pair o' puir skewld'd shachals.
Sc. 1928  Scots Mag. (Jan.) 304:
The slaudderin' o' their shauchle shoon.

3. A weakly, undergrown or deformed person or animal (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 425; Dmf. 1825 Jam.; Ags., Per. 1970). Comb. shochlum[ < -and]-showd, a person with a shambling, waddling gait (Abd.15 1940). See Showd. Abd. 1870  W. Buchanan Olden Days 123:
A sad shachle o' a creatur, wi' legs like a mavis.
Arg. 1914  N. Munro New Road xiii.:
The shauchle of a fellow that came wi' me.

4. In pl.: a contemptuous term for the legs, esp. unshapely ones (Abd. 1825 Jam., shochles).

III. adj. Ricketty, unsteady, joggly. Ayr. 1834  Galt Stories of Study III. 77:
If they [solid wheels] had been like our shauckle wheels, they would soon have been broken.

[A freq. form, in orig. prob. chiefly imit. Cf. Eng. dial. shaffle, to shuffle, and shackle, shockl, to rock, totter, shuckle, to slink, which appear to be cogn. with Ger. schaukeln, to swing, rock.]

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"Shauchle v., n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Feb 2019 <>



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