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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HURL, v.1, n.1

I. v. 1. tr. To convey in a wheeled vehicle, to cart, to drive, push or pull along on wheels, to trundle. Gen.Sc. Specif. to wheel peats away in barrows for drying. Hence hurler, one who does this.Sc. 1700 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 76:
The tennants of that place hurling or rolling stones out of the carn broke the urn in peeces.
Sc. 1718 P. Rae Hist. Rebellion 287:
They found the Boats drawn up a good Way on the Land, which they hurled down to the Loch.
Abd. 1755 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 35:
They had me up afore the sky, . . . an' hurl'd me awa to Portsmouth.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 13:
I'll no allow that until the peats be cussen and hurl'd.
Peb. 1802 C. Findlater Agric. Peb. 209:
It [peat] is taken up by the women wheelers (hurlers), who lay a number of them upon a wheelbarrow without sides.
Edb. 1850 J. Smith Hum. Sc. Stories 6:
He was an unco proud beast . . . Ye see he was brocht up to hurl a gig.
Dmf. 1894 J. Cunningham Broomieburn 211:
Playing wi' his peerie, or hurlin his gird.
wm.Sc. 1914 Sc. National Readings 53:
I saw him no vera lang syne carryin' a wean in his arm and hurlin' a perambulator afore him.
Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chron. (13 Sept.) 2:
I can mind o' them hurling or carrying sheaves to the stacks for the hoose rent.
Gsw. 1950 H. W. Pryde McFlannel Family Affairs 103:
D'you remember, Mother, we once had a concert in the back court, and we got somebody's piano hurled outside for the occasion.

Combs.: (1) hurl(e) barrow, a wheelbarrow, a hand cart (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Rxb. 1942 Zai; I., em.Sc.(a), Lnk., s.Sc. 1957). Cf. Hurlie, n. Also attrib. Phr. to speir the erse or guts oot o' a hurl-barrie, to be over-inquisitive (Ags., Fif. 1957); (2) †hurl-scraw, a frame on wheels on which dyed fabric is hung to dry or to be otherwise treated. For scraw, cf. Du. schraag, a trestle.(1) Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 46:
It is kittle for the cheeks whan the hurl-barrow gaes o'er the brig of the nose.
Abd. 1749 Abd. Council Enactment Bk. (1 Nov.):
They shall every morning of every lawfull day throughout the said year enter by themselves or servants to the foresaid street and highway leading to the same with a cart or double-wheeled hurlbarrows.
Slk. 1827 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) vii.:
As mooch wit as a man could drive on a hurlbarrow.
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 57:
The legs o' him, losh me! nae better shapet than hurl-barrow trams.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin vii.:
Like an auld gizzen't hurl-barrow under the wecht o' a bow o' petawties.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 1:
Thir billies hed a sair hatter or they got the bruits weerd bye the cairns an hurlbarrihs.
(2) Abd. 1763 Aberdeen Jnl. (14 Feb.):
Two Horses for Scrubling with, and a Hurl scraw for beating Wool.

2. intr. To move on wheels, to bowl or trundle along, to ride in a wheeled vehicle. Gen.Sc. Also rarely of sledging on ice (Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 115). Cf. Hurlie-hacket.Abd. 1720 W. Meston Poet. Wks. (1802) 106:
And, without brag, ne'er hackney hurl'd On better wheels in the wide world.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 127:
The wylie writers, rich as Crœsus, Hurl frae the town in hackney chaises.
Ayr. c.1786 Burns Sir, Yours this moment ii.:
If on a beastie I can speel Or hurl in a cartie.
Ags. 1794 W. Anderson Piper of Peebles 7:
Fan cummers sled, an' hurl'd as weel On ice, as ony vady chiel.
Knr. 1832 L. Barclay Poems 95:
As Harry hurled out, for coal, To Hattenburn stell.
Lnk. 1895 W. Fraser Whaups of Durley xv.:
If ever you're sae venturesome as to hurl in a train.
Gsw. 1909 J. J. Bell Oh! Christina! iii.:
“Here's an awfu' nice wee boat” — “It winna sail,” the boy objected. “But it'll hurl.”

3. To roll, dash, tumble, hurtle or fall down from a height (Sh., em.Sc. 1957). Now obs. or arch. in Eng.Sc. 1727 Thomson Summer 32:
The very Streams . . . impetuous hurl Into the Shelter of the crackling Grove.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ann. Parish xxvii.:
In every blast, some of the pins lost their grip, and the slates came hurling off.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xi.:
There was no keeping my feet, and down the brae hurled I, over heather and fern.
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 261:
May comfort come to you in creelfu's, and sackfu's o' siller come hurlin' doun about your lugs like cartfu's o' stanes.

Ppl.adj. hurling, rolling along at a considerable paee, swiftly moving, hurried.Per. 1766 A. Nicol Poems 37:
Who with laughing merriment Beguile the hurling minutes so.
Ayr. 1789 D. Sillar Poems 124:
But hurlin' pieces, an' scuds o' rhyme Are faster made than bits o' sense.
Sc. 1806 R. Jamieson Ballads I. 226:
The hurling stream was still'd therewi', Sae fast afore that ran.
Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize xvii.:
Like the hurling and the drifting ice, found no effectual obstacle to its irresistible and natural destination.

4. tr. To roll a ball, etc. towards an objective; intr., of a ball: to roll (em.Sc.(b) 1957).Edb. 1838 W. McDowall Poems 32:
And how the bowls for me may hurl, I dinna ken.

5. “To toy, to dally amorously. Hence hurlin, dalliance . . . on the Hairst Rig” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.).

6. Phrs.: (1) hurl-the-penny, a boy's game (see quot.) (‡Per. 1957); (2) to hurl the truck, to propel a file of skaters (see quot.).(1) Ags. 1921 A. S. Neill Carroty Broon 128:
The best bool game was hurl-the-penny . . . A boy sat down and made a wide fork with his legs. He placed a penny in front of him, and kept it on its edge by placing a small stone behind it. Then all the other boys . . . hurled their bools at the penny. If you knocked it down, the sitting boy collected all his bools, and then it was your turn to keep bank.
(2) Per. 1902 E.D.D.:
Several girls hunker down on the ice, cling to one another, and are pushed along by one who “hurls the truck.”

II. n. 1. A ride or drive in a wheeled vehicle, a lift along the road (Sc. 1825 Jam.); a journey in any mode of transport. Also fig.Gen.Sc.Sc. 1822 Carlyle Early Letters (Norton) II. 144:
We will not let you want a hurl up and down in the coach.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xcvi.:
If ye'll gie me a hurl in the carriage, . . .
m.Lth. 1897 P. H. Hunter J. Armiger 172:
He had to get a hurl hame in a machine.
Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 62:
Willie Wicht wis gi'en him a hurl hame abeen's cairt load o' lime.
Ags. 1925 Forfar Dispatch (16 July) 3:
A canny hurl like a gude burial's no a bad thing noo an' than.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 13:
A micht mebbies cood geet a hurl the lenth o Hawick.
Gsw. 1954 Bulletin (12 June) 4:
The chance of first hurl on a newly acquired birthday bicycle.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 87:
'Think this boy's gaun for a hurl,' he said. 'Get himsel pumped oot.' He spoke into the radio, requesting an ambulance.
Gsw. 2002:
Dae ye waant a hurl tae the Burrell? [the Burrell Collection in Glasgow].
Per. 2003:
Ah'll gie ye a hurl in ma boat.
Edb. 2004:
Afore Ah dee Ah'd like a hurl in a space ship.

2. An impetuous forward surge, a downward rush, e.g. of a mass of falling material, such as snow or crumbling masonry (Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh., Cai., Ags., m.Lth. 1957); an onrush of water or of wind (Uls. a.1908 Traynor (1953)). Also fig. Dim. forms hurlie, hurl(e)y; intensive hurloch.Ayr. 1789 D. Sillar Poems 124:
At length he gae some spring a twirl Then down the wheels gade wi' a hurl.
Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Kitty Reid's House iii.:
The wa' gaed a hurly and scatter'd them a'.
Ayr. 1817 D. McKillop Poems 106:
An' a' your taunts, pack in a hurl.
Lnk. 1827 J. Watt Poems 12:
Frae the house riggin' hurls o' snaw.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 24:
And they were buried forty feet Aneath that awesome hurl.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 84:
“A hurl o' stanes cam doon on's back, an, hurtit 'im geyan sehr.” In a hurl, means in a confused mass accompanied with noise.
Sc.(E) 1879 P. H. Waddell Isaiah xxviii. 2:
Like a hurl o' hail, like the swirl o' a skail, like an unco spate o' watirs greit down ga'n.
Sc.(E) 1942 A. Galloway War Poems in Scots 11:
The cauld grey lift o' winter teems its ren Upon the hurloch o' the lowpin' faem.
Sc. 1948 Maurice Lindsay Collected Poems (1979) 33:
The hurlygush and hallyoch o the watter skinklan i the moveless simmer sun harles aff the scaurie mountain wi a yatter that thru ten-thoosan centuries has run.
Sc. 1988 Scotsman 26 Aug 12:
I would advise anyone interested in the work of Hugh MacDiarmid to avoid the verbal hurlygush of the extortionately priced conference ...

Combs.: (1) hurle-burle-swyre, hurley-burley-swire (Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 239), see quots. and Swire; (2) hurl-come-gush, -cum-, hurley gush, (a) a noisy rush of water, a mountain torrent in spate (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 310; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein, Rxb. 1942 Zai, hurly-). Also fig., e.g. of a garrulous person. Ppl.adj. hurly-gushing; (b) diarrhœa (Lnk. 1957, hurly-gush); (3) hurlie-go-th(o)row, an uproar, noisy disturbance (Bwk. 1825 Jam.); (4) hurl(e)y-house, a large, tumble-down or half-ruinous house. Only in Scott.(1) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 229:
Little knows the Wife that sits by the Fire, How the Wind blows in Hurle-burle-swyre. Hurle-burle-swyre is a Passage through a Ridge of Mountains, that separate Nithsdale from Twadale, and Clydsdale: Where the Mountains are so indented one with another, that there is a perpetual blowing. The Meaning is, that they, who are at Ease, know little of the Trouble that others are expos'd to. [Also in Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. vi.]
(2) (a) wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 121:
Nevertheless, I maun repeat, that we married men hae an awfu' hurl-come-gush of wee things to tout us baith within doors and without.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde & Tweed 61:
A mill-lade fu' wi' hurly-gushin' flow.
(3) Sc.(E) 1868 D. M. Ogilvy Willie Wabster 4:
Loom factories noo are a' the go, — Kick up a dust! hurlie go throw!
(4) Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley lxvii.:
I now wish . . . that I could have left Rose the auld hurley-house, and the riggs belanging to it.

3. A torrent of abuse, a “dressing-down” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also phr. a hurl of a flyte, id. (Ib.).Ags. a.1825 Henry Blyd's Contract 6:
She ga' me sic a hurl I never gat the like o't.

4. Sexual intercourse at harvest festivities (Kcb. 1827 Curriehill). Cf. v., 5.

[O.Sc. hurl, v., is found in Eng. sense, to move or impel with violence, tr. from 1438, intr. from 1513. There is evidence that the semantic change to the present senses 1. and 2. of the v. has taken place in the combs. hurle-stule (1507) and hurle barrow (from 1546), though the v. is first recorded alone in sense 1. from 1693. Hurle Brough Swyre is found a.1628 in J. Carmichaell Proverbs (Anderson 1957) 89, Caput de Hurle Burle, 1214.]

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"Hurl v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



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