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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PAIDLE, n.3 Also padle, paedle, paedel; peddle (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. III. 172); paddle; pattle- (e.Sc. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.); parl- (Kcd. 1930 Ib.). The lump-fish or lump-sucker, Cyclopterus lumpus (Sc. 1811 Wernerian Soc. Mem. I. 548; I.Sc. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh., Cai., Kcd., Fif. 1965); also paidle-cock (Kcd., Ags. 1965), cock-paidle, paidle-fish, id., see combs. below.Rs. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 III. 509:
Prawns, small rock and ware cod, gurnet, turbot, and padles are found.
Ork. 1808 G. Barry Hist. Ork. 302:
The Lump Fish . . . here denominated the Paddle, frequents the harbours and sand-banks.
m.Lth. 1809 Scots Mag. (April) 244:
Nets set for catching padles or lump-fish in the Frith of Forth.
Bwk. 1838 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club I. 174:
The Paidle spawns towards the end of March.
Fif. 1844 J. Jack St. Monance 60:
Mak' yer bridal bed amang the crabs and paidles.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 33:
He was piveran like a paedle on a plate.
Sh. 1949 New Shetlander (March–April) 8:
Perhaps too a great warty paedel — the Lumpsucker or “Sea Hen” — will be seen grounded on a sandbank.
Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 68:
We looked also for butterfish and granny fish, and for the lumpsuckers which grandfather called 'paddles'. Sometimes they came in shore as early as the middle of February, and now cast their skins and prepared for spawning in the lamb-like days of late March or the calm weather of early April.

Combs.: 1. blue paidle, the female lump-fish, but also used of the lump-fish in general (Sc. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.). See 2. quot.; 2. cock-paidle, the male lump-fish, see Cock, n.1, III. 2. (14); 3. hen-paidle, see 1. above; 4. hush paidle, see 1. and 3. above; 5. paidle-cock, paddle- (Abd. 1959), pattle-, parl-, see 2. above; 6. paidle-fish, the lump-sucker; 7. paidle-hen, parl-, see 1., 3. and 4. above; 8. paddle-rawn, the roe of the lump-fish (Abd. (coast) 1955); 9. parl-sheetins, the spawn of the lump-fish (Kcd. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.). See Shuit; 10. red paidle, the male lump-fish (Sc. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.). Cf. 1880 quot. under 1. above.1. Sc. 1880–4 F. Day Fishes I. 181:
Cock- and hen-paidle or red- and blue-paidle, according to sex.
2. Sc. 1705 J. Spruell Accompt Current 11:
Cat-fish and Cockpadle, Whiteings, Haddocks, small cods.
Sc. 1883 Encycl. Britannica XV. 65:
The vernacular name, “cock and hen paddle,” given to the lump-fish on some parts of the coast, is probably expressive of the difference between the two sexes in their outward appearance, the male being only half or one-third the size of the female, and assuming during the spawning season a bright blue coloration, with red on the lower parts.
4. Fif. 1803 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife 126:
The Lump or Sea Owl . . . the Cock Padle. I take it to be the same, which our fishers call the Hush-Padle or Bagaty; they say it is the female of the former.
5. Sc. 1880–4 F. Day Fishes I. 181:
Lump-sucker, due to its lumpy form and possessing a suctorial disc. Paddle-cock, Scotland, owing to its dorsal ridge enveloped in tubercular skin, resembling the comb of a cock.
Wgt. 1926 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. (1926–8) 34:
Lump Sucker. It has various names, as Sea Hen, Paidle Cock, etc.
6. e.Sc. 1902 Chambers's Jnl. (5 April) 277:
Early in May we have an annual visit of the lumpsucker, better known on the east coast as the paidle-fish.
7. Sh. 1899 Evans & Buckley Fauna Shet. 222:
The “paidle cock” is but half the size of the “Paidle hen”.
ne.Sc. 1903 G. Sim Fauna of “Dee” 225:
Parl Hen. Common all along the east coast. Seldom used as food, but by some it is considered good, after having been skinned and hung in peat-smoke for several days.

[O.Sc. padill, id., 1525. Of somewhat uncertain orig., prob. from Paidle, n.2, paddle, an oar, from its shape. ]

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"Paidle n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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