Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PAUCHLE, v.2, n.2 Also pawchle; paghle; pyauchle, and reduced form pyach. [pxl, pɑxl]

I. v. 1. Freq. with alang, awa, on, etc.: to move feebly but persistently, to shuffle, hobble (Uls. 1965); to struggle along, make slow and painful progress, move painfully forward (Slk. 1965). Also used fig. Ags. 1880 Montrose Characters 138:
That's Bob o' the Bell ye see Gaun pauchlin' alang the pave.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Pauchlin' on i' the heat of the day.
Abd. 1932 R. L. Cassie Scots Sangs 25:
We pauchle on, we peenge an' pine For want o' wordies wee.

2. To struggle, strive, contend, expend effort and energy. Ppl.adj. pauchled, worn-out, exhausted, drained of all energy. Kcb. 1921 T.S.D.C.:
Why should I pyauchle wi' im ony mair.
wm.Sc. 1937 W. Hutcheson Chota Chants 4:
A gey auld gaberlunzie man, Sair pauchled wi' muckle toil.
Fif. 1958:
Jist pauchlin awa — just struggling along, doing the best we can.

3. To work in an ineffectual way, to bungle, potter, trifle; also with awa (Fif., Lth. 1965). Ppl.adj. pochlin, awkward, inefficient, bungling; agent n. pauchler, a clumsy, unskilful person, a bungler, “foozler” (Fif. 1949; Gsw. 1965).

II. n. 1. A state of confusion, a flurry, a disorganized state of affairs. Also shortened form pyach (Mry. 1958). Phrs. a pauchle o' trouble, id. (Uls 1965), to be in a pauchle, to be in a chaotic disorganized state, behind with one's work, in a muddle (Mry., Fif., Uls. 1965).

2. A feeble old creature, a frail, tottering old body (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 376), also pawchlie, id. (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); a stupid person, a simpleton, “a person of low stature, rather silly” (Mac Taggart, pawchle). Uls. 1907 R. Mayne Turn of Road i.:
Robbie John's an idle useless paghle.

[Orig. prob. mainly onomat. Cf. Pech, pechle, Paigle, peuchle s.v. Peuch, Bauchle. In I. 1. there may be some conflation of sense with Pauchle, n.1, v.1, sc. to walk as if with a burden.]

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"Pauchle v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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