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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCARTLE, v., n. Also skartle. [skɑrtl]

I. v. 1. To scrape together in little bits, make little scratching movements (Lnk., Rxb. 1825 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); to rake out ashes from a fire or the like: of mice or rats: to scurry (Gsw. 1912 Scotsman (19 Jan.)); fig. to accumulate (wealth) in small amounts, to scrape (money) together.Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) S. 19:
A person blamed her sister gettan up in the morning scartlan sae soon.
Ayr. 1879 R. Adamson Lays 133:
When some unearthly thing began Jist at her heels tae scartle.
Cld. 1882 Jam.:
I'll buy't as soon as I hae scartled thegither as mony bawbees.

2. To scatter, fling about.Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 27:
Auld Habkin scartled a wheen scadded pennies on the street at his dochter's waddin'.

II. n. 1. A scraping or scratching. Phr. to play scartle, to make a scraping sound, in quot. of an unskilful fiddler.Gsw. 1823 J. Livingston Comic Songs 34:
Whiles wi' the stick he played scartle.

2. A scraper or hoe for cleaning out a byre or stable (m.Lth. 1969); ‡a rake for drawing out ashes from a fire (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 156:
Ilk daud o' the scartle strack fire.
Rxb. 1871 H. S. Riddell Poet. Wks. II. 202:
The grape and the skartle he [Frost] froze in the stank.

[Freq. form of Scart, v. The n. usage is from the v.]

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"Scartle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2023 <>



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