Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

THORL, n. Also thorle. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. whorl: 1. As in Eng.; a small fly-wheel on the spindle of a spinning wheel to maintain or regulate the speed (Rxb. 1825 Jam.); a small wheel used in various mechanisms. Slg. 1804  G. Galloway Poems 15:
The lass is frugal, eident turns the thorle.
Fif. 1835  R. Gilfillan Songs 216:
Our auld timer clock, wi' thorl an' string.

Hence combs.: thorle-pear, a variety of pear; thorle-pippin, a variety of apple (Rxb. 1825 Jam., ‡1923 Watson W.-B.), so called from their shapes. Rxb. 1798  R. Douglas Agric. Rxb. 117 note:
A single tree of the thorle pear at Melrose, has for these 50 years past yielded the interest of the money paid for the garden where it stands, and for a house let at 7 L. Sterling yearly.

2. A part of the mechanism of a patent sward-cutter set on a kind of harrow frame (see quot.). Sc. 1788  Abridgement of Specifications, Agric. Div. i. (1876) 20:
The “bulls” are kept at their proper distance apart by means of “hollow pieces of wood, called thorles, three and one half inches long, which inclose the bolt.”

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Thorl n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Mar 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down