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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CAMSHACHLE, CAMSHAUCHLE, Camshauchel, Camshac(k)le, Kamshachle, v. and adj. [′kɑm′ʃɑxl, kɑm′ʃɑkl]

1. v. Mostly found as ppl.adj.

(1) To distort, bend, twist, disorder. Known to Abd.2, Fif.10, Edb.1 1938. Also used fig.Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick II. x. 191:
I'll twussle your thrapple in a jiffy, an' ye think tae camshacle me wi your bluid-thristy fingers.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin xxxv.:
Tibbie an' Mrs Sooter had gotten a' their net-mutches an' red ribbands camshachled, whilk put dancin' oot o' their heads for the time-bein'.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 33:
Nae auld, camshauchel'd, warlock loun, Nor black, wanchauncie carline, Sall cross ae threshald o' the town, 'Till ilk lass gets her darlin.
s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell Psalms cxxv. 5:
As for sic as turn agley til thair camshauchelet wayes, the Lord sall leede thame furth wi' the wurkers o' inequitie.
ne.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
A camshauchl't auld wumman.

†(2) To shackle (of an animal).Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 108:
Camshackled. A quadruped is so, when its two fore legs are “langled,” or confined with a chain, so that it cannot leap.

(3) “To oppress or bear down with fatigue or confinement” (Ayr. 1825 Jam.2).Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 47:
In the Backcausey sat puir Jean A sad licht settled in her e'en, A tousled, kind, camshauchl'd quean Waitin' for Rab.

2. adj.

(1) “Applied to a stick that is twisted, or a wall that is standing off the line” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2, camshauchle s.v. camshachle).

(2) “Applied to what is difficult to repeat” (s.Sc. Ib., kamshachle).Slk. 1818 Hogg Brownie of Bodsbeck I. xi.:
I think it [song] rins this gate — hum! but then the dilogue comes in, and it is sae kamshachle I canna word it, though I canna say it's misleared either.

(3) “Angry, cross, quarrelsome” (Sc. 1808 Jam.).Edb. 1917 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's o' Solomon xxix. 158:
A camshauchle body lats a' his anger brattle oot.
Lnk. 1836 J. Affleck Poet. Works 123: 
In comes John's camshachell hizzy, Like a dingle dowzie too.

[Prob. Gael. cam, crooked + Shauchle, Shachle, to distort, q.v.]

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"Camshachle v., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Mar 2023 <>



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