Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

HANDLE, n., v. Also hand(e)l, haandle (Sh.); han(n)le, hannel, hanil (Rxb. 1875 N. Elliott Nellie Macpherson 43); h(a)unle, haunel, hawnle. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. handle, n., v. See P.L.D. § 64, and D, 2.

I. n. 1. The hand of a clock (Cai. 1956). Edb. 1881 J. Smith Habbie and Madge 74:
There's the lang handle at the hour o' ten.

2. The shaft of a golf-club. Sc. 1856 St Andrews Cit. (8 June 1940) 5:
The actual stock consisted of 26 finished clubs, 9 irons, 420 blocks, and 200 shafts called “handles.”
Sc. 1887 W. G. Simpson Art of Golf 92:
Nobody likes stiff shafts . . . A “fozy” handle will do very well if you have a sweeping, scythe-like swing.
Sc. 1896 J. Kerr Golf-Bk. E. Lth. 436:
Clubs in a design of their own — handle and head being roughly made from one piece of thorn.

II. v. 1. In curling: to drag off by the handle a stone that has failed to reach the hog-score (Kcb.10 1956). Hence the derisive call handle 'im! when a stone seems unlikely to pass over the hog-score (Sc. 1902 E.D.D.). Sc. 1886–7 Ann. Royal Caled. Curling Club 349:
Big Andra fairly felled his stane, Han'le 'im, a hog or I'm mista'en.

2. Specif.: to round up and sort sheep. See Handling, 2. Sc. 1807 Farmer's Mag. (May) 202:
Our lambs were handled last week . . . twenty score were sold and . . . the remainder are to be weaned and hogged.

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

"Handle n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jan 2022 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: