Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
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KNURL, n., v. Also knurle; (g)norle, knorle; knorlo; (Ork.). [(k)nvrl, (k)ncrl]
I. n. 1. A lump, clot, bump, protuberance (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 98, knorle; Ork., Cai., Ags., Lth., Kcb. 1960), a knot in string (Cai. 1902 E.D.D., knorl). Also dim. knorlag, nurlock (Sc. 1887 Jam.), a small lump or induration, as on the skin, and intensive forms knorlack, (k)norlick, norloc(k), a large lump or swelling, e.g. the result of a blow (Gregor; Mry.2 1930), a cyst, “growing on the head of some persons even to the size of an orange” (Sc. 1825 Jam., norloc), a chunk or hunk, as of cheese (Abd. 1960). Also in Eng. dial.Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 25:
I wat she rais'd a norlick on my crown, that was not well for twa days.Abd. c.1782 Ellis E.E.P. (1889) V. 774:
His elbuck yarkit on a knorlick o' frostit yird.Dmf. 1810 R. H. Cromek Remains 240:
Amang his curling haffet locks She knotted knurles three.Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 200:
A lusty cudgel in my fist Will keep me free o' norlocks.Ork. 1929 Marw. s.v. knurl:
Gied him a “kammo” on the heed, an' raised a knorlo.
Hence (k)norlie, gnorly, nurlie, adj., lumpy, knobbly, gnarled (Cai. 1902 E.D.D., Cai. 1960), uneven, rough, ill-shaped (Cld. 1880 Jam.), fig. applied to a person of an awkward or cross-grained disposition (Ib.); knurld, gnarled, as of the hands (Ayr. 1960).Cld. 1880 Jam.:
Nurlie taes.Sc. 1898–9 Royal Caled. Curling Club Ann. 152:
He rubbed his gnorly hands before the fire.
2. A knuckle (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Comb. knurl-bane, the knuckle-bone (Ib.).ne.Sc. 1994 Alastair Mackie in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 96:
And it cam to me ae Sunday lang syne, deein my stint at the waatchin, that the sinnens o your hand as they tichtent their strings and the fower knurls o your nieve banes grippin the pipe and the crookt jint o your first finger cuddlin it, were like a delta.
3. The wooden ball or piece of wood used in the game of knurls (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.); in pl.: a game similar to cricket, in which a wooden knob or knurl is struck with a bat (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 128, 1866 Edm. Gl.), a kind of shinty.
4. Fig. A deformed person, a dwarf (w.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ayr.4 1928). Also in Eng. dial. See also Nirl.Ayr. a.1796 Burns Meg o' the Mill (Second Set) ii.:
The laird was a widdifu', bleerit knurl — She's left the guid fellow, and taen the churl!Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce II. ix.:
He's a bauld, beardie boddie, Francie, knurl as he is in bane and bouk.Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. x.:
An I havena some fun wi' this widdifu' knurle of a bodie.
Deriv. knurlin, id. (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also used attrib.Ayr. 1791 ? Burns Pastoral Poetry iii.:
Wee Pope, the knurlin, till him rives Horatian fame.Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 5:
She winket aye, and hoastit aye, For me to tent the knurlin.Hdg. 1885 J. Lumsden Rhymes 112:
Kyley, Kyley! saxteen pund for thae knurlin' creatures. Hoot awa!
II. v. To strike so as to raise a lump (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 227, knorle, also intensive form knorlack); to rise in lumps (Ayr.4 1928).[Dim. form of Knur.]
Knurl n., v.
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"Knurl n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Mar 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/knurl>