Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
SPRAUCHLE, v., n. Also sprauchel, spraughle, -el, sprawchle, sprachel, -il, -le, spraghil, -le, sprahal (Uls. 1931 Northern Whig (15 Dec.)); sprochle, sproghal (Uls. c.1840 W. Lutton Montiaghisms (1924) 40); spraichle; sprackle, spraickle, sprockle; spraggle, spraagle (Ork.); and nonce reduced forms sprauch, spraick. [sprɑxl, sprxl]
I. v. To move or make one's way laboriously or in a hasty, clumsy manner, esp. in an upward direction, to scramble, clamber, flounder about, to struggle to extricate oneself from a restricted position, to sprawl, flail about with the limbs (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 435, sprawchle; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., spraughle; Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–26 Wilson; Ork. 1929 Marw., spraagle; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. Also fig. Vbl.n. sprauchlin. Phr. to get spraugheled to, to reach after much exertion or difficulty.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Meeting Lord Daer i.:
Sae far I sprackl'd up the brae. I dinner'd wi' a Lord. Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick II. xiii.:
He sprawls and spraughles like a swine at the piggin'. Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxxi.:
Wad ye have naebody spraickle up the brae but yoursell, Geordie? Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 49:
Puir body! owr the bed-stock coupit . . . Exceptin' her (for she lay sprauchin'). Slg. 1869 St Andrews Gazette (3 April):
There'll be some teuch sprachlin' in St Stephen's aboot the English Kirk yont in Ireland. s.Sc. 1871 H. S. Riddell Poet. Wks. I. 3:
Ere he gat spraugheled to the brae. Wgt. 1877 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 358:
He gied a great stacher and fell sprancheling [sic] on the floor. Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 117:
He spraggled like a livan partan. Abd. 1914 A. McS. The Bishop 15:
Fin't wis sprauchlin' to the tap. Uls. c.1916 S. S. McCurry Ballads of Ballytumulty 113:
I upped an' sprachled on. Dmf. 1941 Gallovidian 7:
We've sprachilt thro' fair an' foul weather. Gsw. 1953 J. Lavin Compass of Youth i. x.:
Sprachle through the streets ye'll never see again, sprachlin' in the night because ye're feert what the sun will show. Edb. 1964 Weekly Scotsman (19 March) 2:
Her sprauchlin feet deep-ruitit in ablow.
II. n. 1. A scramble, struggle, lit. and fig. Gen.Sc.
Bwk. 1876 Minstrelsy of Merse (Crockett 1893) 223:
The warsle's ower wi' him, The spraichle an' the hoast are ower. Ags. 1890 Arbroath Guide (22 Feb.) 4:
I let a sprachel to get up. Lnk. 1893 T. Stewart Miners 76:
Hoo few e'er reached the tap, o' a' That dared the direfu' sprauchle. Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 11:
Twa-t'ree meed a geud sprackle efter him.
2. Fig. a stunted, underdeveloped or feeble creature, a weakling (sm.Sc. 1971).
Gall. 1921 :
A boy brought into the house a small frog and his mother said, “Throw it oot, it's not but a sprochle.” Gall. 1927 Times (4 Oct.) 17:
The comment of an old shepherd upon an announcement that a friend of his had blossomed into print: — “Any sprockle can write a book, but it takes a man to herd the Merrick.”
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"Sprauchle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Feb 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/sprauchle>
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