Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GAVELOCK, n.1 Also †gavelache (Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 456). An iron crowbar, a lever (w.Sc. 1741 A. M'Donald Galick Vocab. 52; Inv.1, Slg.3 1953), “used in quarrying stones” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); “an iron pinch bar used for making holes in the ground for setting up a post” (Mry.1 1925). Obs. exc. dial. in Eng. Cf. Gellock, n.1 [′ge:vlək] Sc. 1724 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) III. 158:
They prepared gavelocks and other instruments, and did their work most dexterously.
Rnf. 1745 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1878) 190:
Two quarry mells, three Gavelocks, five picks, and thritty-five Wedges, all of them iron.
Abd. 1752 Abd. Journal (7 April):
All kinds of Garden-utensils, with Gavelocks and Picks, Stone and Coup-carts.
s.Sc. 1824 J. Telfer Border Ballads 83:
And gavelock, pinch, and sledge hammer, With might and main they plied.
Sc. 1827 W. Motherwell Minstrelsy 337:
Wi' plough coulters and gavelocks They made the jail house door to flee.

[O.Sc. has gavillok, gavelock, gaiflock, etc., id., from 1451. Cf. O.E. gafeloc, a javelin, gafol, a fork.]

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"Gavelock n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Feb 2020 <>



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