Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TINCHEL, n., v. Also teinchil, tinchal, tainchel, tanchell; tin(c)kell and erron. tinckbell (Sc. 1771 T. Pennant Tour 1769 105). [′tɪŋxəl]

I. n. 1. In hunting: a ring of hunters who surround a chosen area and gradually close in to entrap any quarry, esp. deer, found in the circle, an ambush of deer (Sc. 1825 Jm.). Hist. Comb. tinchel man, one of the beaters or drivers in a deer-hunt. Sc. 1810  Scott Lady of Lake vi. xvii.:
We'll quell the savage mountaineer, As their Tinchel cows the game!
Sc. 1820  Hogg Tales (1874) 121, 128:
The tinckell was raised at two in the morning — upwards of 400 men were gathered that day. . . . The tinckell was then but thin.
Gall. 1843  J. Nicholson Tales 208:
The tinckell, as it was called in hunting phrase, was crowded together on a low hill.
Sc. 1873  J. H. Burton Hist. Scot. I. 141, V. 367:
It is a Tinchel or general sweeping of the contents of the district. . . . Gillies or tinchel men had been scouring the hills within a radius of fifty or sixty miles, driving before them all the wild beasts.
Sc. 1899  Edb. Review (Jan.) 222:
A vast extent of mountain is encircled by an ever contracting line, as in the old Scottish tinchal.
Per. 1906  J. A. Harvie-Brown Fauna of Tay 36:
When the Duke of Atholl called his men and neighbours together for a great “Tinchel” or Deer-hunt.
Highl. 1950  Scots Mag. (Jan.) 248:
There it was that the nobility held high holiday at their great deer-drives or “tinchels” as they were called.

2. A pack (of animals). Abd. a.1909  Deeside Field (1929) 42:
And fa' met I but Simpson Wi' a teinchil o' tykes at his heels?

II. v. To hunt, track down, round up. Abd. p.1768  A. Ross Fortunate Shep. MS. 122:
In search of Mashly up thro' Murray's braes Whiles here o' her gets notice, whileoms there Still follows on and tanchells her with care.

[O.Sc. tinchell, = I. 1., c.1533, Gael. timchioll, O. Ir. timchell, a surrounding, circuit, a round.]

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"Tinchel n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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