Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PAUCHLE, n.1, v.1 Also pauchal, -el, pochle, pauc-, pock-; poghal; pawchle (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 376). pyauchle; paghle; pachal; packle; †packald; †pakkald (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); pechle (Jam.), peghle. [pxl]

I. n. 1. A bundle, a small load, a burden, a pack-load; “a parcel or budget carried by one in a clandestine sort of way” (Lth. 1808 Jam., pechle; Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) P. 1., pachal). Deriv. packler, pechler, a pedlar who deals in earthenware (Sc. 1838 Wilson's Tales of the Borders Gl.), a travelling handyman or tinker (see 1832 quot.), a packman. Gall. 1743 Session Bk. Penninghame (1933) II. 408:
Samuel M'Clain, had on the first Lords day of May rode a great part of the way to Air and that with a packle under him to the offence of God and his people by breach of the Sabbath.
Kcb. c.1800 in J. Morrison Poems (1832) 57:
The figure of a horse And on his back there seemed a little load Such as in Scotland we a pauchal call.
Lth. 1832 Tait's Mag. (April) 64:
The Pechler is a character in humble life, who assumes no distinct profession, but contrives to live a curious, irregular life by means of all kinds of out-of-the-way bargainings, and contracts for work; his habits being generally in a considerable degree determined by the accident of his living in a city or in the country.
Sc. 1833 Chambers's Jnl. (April) 73:
Peghler . . . a person who has many curious properties, and who would, by many, be described as a Jack-of-all-Trades.

2. A small bundle or parcel of something, a quantity of anything (Uls. 1927 W. Lutton Montiaghisms 31, poghal); specif. a small quantity of goods, working materials or the like, taken by an employee from his employer's stock by way of a perquisite or gratuitous allowance, either furtively or by convention (Per., Fif., Slg., Edb., Slk. 1965), e.g. a share of the catch taken home by trawlermen at the end of a trip (Edb. 1965), comb. pauchle-bag, a sack used for this purpose; hence, more generally, a tip, gratuity to a porter, etc. (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). m.Lth. 1955 Bulletin (16 March) 2:
“Pauchles” — an old East Coast fishing term for “back-handers” — were mentioned yesterday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court . . . Ward had received between ¥7000 and ¥9000 as “pauchles” while he was an employee of the company.
Edb. 1956 Edb. Ev. Dispatch (5 Jan.):
With “paucle” bags, kit bags and . . . new seaboots, they make their way along Granton's Middle Pier to rejoin their ships.
Edb. 1957:
He was seen going into the scrap-merchant's with some pawchle and we had just lost some lead from the cisterns. . . . The janitor made a pauchle buying and selling the scholars' books.
Rxb. 1958 Daily Express (7 May):
During the hearing materials, which, it was considered, were free to employees for sale were referred to as “scran” or “pockle.”

3. A swindle, a piece of trickery (Per., wm.Sc. 1965), a “fiddle”. Gsw. 1963 Scottish Field (Dec.) 11:
I have never won a prize even in the humblest raffle — except once when I was on an amateur football club's committee, and that was a pochle.

II. v. 1. To do odd jobs for a gratuity, to earn “tips”. Sc. 1898 Railway Review (30 Sept.):
The name “tipping” is not quite understood among Scotch railway men, but the word “pauchel” . . . is known to every porter from John o' Groat's to the Mull of Galloway . . . Men on night shift . . . are known to remain on the platform for an extra half-dozen hours for the express purpose of making a few sixpences by “paucheling”.

2. tr. and intr. To be guilty of a minor dishonesty, to cheat, “work a wangle”, “twist” (m.Lth. 1951, poggle; wm.Sc., Kcb. 1965, pochle); specif., to cheat at cards (Ayr. 1928; Slg. 1958); to manipulate something for dishonest ends, to “fiddle” or “rig” an election or the like (m.Lth., Gsw. 1965). Hence pochler, a cheat, twister, wangler (Gsw. 1965). Gsw. 1942 per Abd.27:
He pauchlet the votes.

3. To steal, pilfer, embezzle, pocket, make off with (m. and s.Sc. 1965). Per.4 1950:
He's pachled ma banana.
Edb. 1957:
He was Treasurer of the club and he pawchled the lot.

4. To shuffle (playing cards) (Lnk., Ayr. 1965). Ayr. 1930:
In the Kilmarnock district it is a kind of technical term at cards. “Pauchle thae cairts” — Shuffle those cards.

[O.Sc. pakkald, bundle, packet, 1516, packald, 1637, a deriv. of pack, of uncertain formation. The d may be excrescent, in which case the suffix would correspond to -le in Hantle, q.v.]

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"Pauchle n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2021 <>



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