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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TRINNLE, n.1, v.1 Also trinle, trinnel(l), trenle; trun(n)el, -le; trendle, trindle, and met. or erron. form turnell. Sc. forms and usages of Eng., now dial. or obs., trind, trundle. See also Trintle. [trɪnl]

I. n. 1. A circular revolving object, gen. of wood, as a hub, roller, wheel, etc. (Sc. 1887 Jam.), esp. the wheel of a barrow (Slg., Ayr. 1973). Adj. trinlie, trinnly, pertaining to a trinnle, roundish, made to roll, suitable for rolling (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1973). Comb. trindle-bed, trendle-, a small, low bed on wheels, esp. one used by children, a truckle-bed (Sc. 1887 Jam.); trinlie-pin, the axle of a trinnle or small wheel, though this is phs. rather to be associated with 2. or with Eng. trennel, tree-nail, a dowel used in ship-building.Sc. 1711 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 674:
Making of four wheel barrows, nailing the iron work and making turnells to them.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Inventory 33:
Ae auld wheelbarrow . . . I made a poker o' the spin'le, An' my auld mother brunt the trin'le.
wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan 164:
It looked like a hurl-barrow on end, makin' its way without the trunn'el.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. xii.:
He cares nae mair for God's image than he cares for the trinnel of a wheelbarrow.
Ork. 1894 Sc. Fairy Tales (Douglas) 70:
One of these floods caught the boat, snapped the mast like a trinlie pin.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Trinnly eggs (= Easter eggs); trinnly bits o' coal.

2. A lantern- or cog-wheel, esp. that in the gearing machinery of a mill. Comb. trinnle board, -broad, one of the two parallel heads or plates in such a wheel.Gsw. 1738 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 496:
£96 Scots money for an outter wheel, trows, milne stone, planks, inner wheels, cogs, rungs and trinnell broads.
Sc. 1748 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 499:
The trindle-boards are commanded by strong steel springs, which are able to stop the machine, and prevent its being hurt by nails or stones among the malt.
Abd. 1750 Abd. Estate (S.C.) 147:
Three rollers but needing sharping, with roaps and weighters and a trinle with two iron hoops.
Edb. 1781 Session Papers, Petition J. Johnston (19 Jan.) 2:
To a hoop to the lying trinell mending with iron . . . 6d.
Sc. 1821 Scott Pirate xi.:
It's just one degree better than a hand-quern — it has neither wheel nor trindle.
Bnff. 1852 A. Harper Solitary Hours 68:
Round went the wheels, round went the trinnle, Round went the stone upon the spinnle.

3. The intestines of a calf, prob. so called from their coils (Lnk. 1825 Jam.; Fif. c.1850 Peattie MS.). Also found in 17th c. Eng. Cf. also Eng. †trend, to coil or wind wool.

4. A slight gentle stream, flow or trickle of a liquid or granulated substance, the sound made by such in falling (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 198).

5. Fig. Course, progress.Gsw. 1868 J. Young Poems 46:
Wi' legal knaves he made nae pactions Hoo best his creditors to swin'le If ran agee his business trinle.

II. v. 1. intr. To roll, revolve, spin, move on wheels or like a wheel, to bowl along in a carriage, etc. (Slg., e.Lth., wm.Sc., Rxb. 1973).Dmf. 1770 Session Papers, Nicolson v. Nicolson (11 April) 81:
She saw the defender put an apple closs to said Graham's cheek, which trindled in among the cloaths.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xlviii.:
If we were ance out o' this trindling kist o' a thing.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xxxiv.:
As we came trindling along in the dewy eye o' the morning.
Gall. 1822 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 718:
Out jumped a pease bannock, and trindled awa' doun the kirk.
Abd. 1891 T. Mair Arn And His Wife 63:
The foun'stane boulders trinled oot Upo' the leys ayont.
Uls. 1898 A. M'Ilroy Auld Meetin'-Hoose Green 102:
A pipe-heid lyin' on the sate trinnell't richt doon tae the apposite side.
Kcd. 1958 Mearns Leader (30 May):
Een o' yon aul', aul' bikes wi' the muckle wheel at the front an' the wee little een trinnlin' on ahin.

2. Of persons or animals: to walk with a rolling gait, to waddle, straggle.Peb. a.1800 in J. Veitch Hist. Sc. Border (1893) II. 238:
The bonny bob-tailed yowes That trinle along the Logan Lee.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xlii.:
Like the Laird o' Kittlegab's French cook, wi' his turnspit doggie trindling ahint him.
Ork. 1929 Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 76:
Trunlin' a' i' a tail, like as miny yowes.
Slk. 1985 Walter Elliot Clash-ma-clavers 14:
Yin Setterday, the Clogger Stoppit work an trinnel't doun
Tae see the Scarlets playin

3. Of water, fine grains or the like: to flow, ripple along, trickle in streamlets, also connoting the sound (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 198; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also fig. Vbl.n., ppl.adj. trinnlin, -an, rippling, purling, trickhng (Gregor). Comb. Trinnlin-stane, also trinnler-, in pl.: little stones or pebbles left lying after a receding flood (Slk. 1930).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 22:
Now Flaviana was the country's name, That ay this bony water-side did claim, Frae yellow sands, that trindl'd down the same.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 83:
Let despots never dinnle Your manly bosoms — for will then Nae pleasure through them trinnle.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 198:
The corn cam trinnlin' oot o' a wee holie in the saick.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 7:
Yill Waeter, trinnlin alang owre its staney chennel.

4. tr. To cause to trickle, to pour in small quantities, drops or grains at a time.Sc. 1799 W. Nicol Practical Planter 171:
The boy places the plant perfectly upright, holds it firm in that position. He trindles in the mold gently.

III. adv. In a gentle stream or flow.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 198:
The corn wiz comin' trinnle, trinnle doon through't.

[O.Sc. trundill, 1478, trynnill, of a mill. 1512, trinnell-bed, 1649, tryndill brod, 1557, trindle, to roll, 1629, Mid.Eng. trindelen, to revolve, trindle, a wheel, variants of †trendle, trundle, O.E. tryndlian, to round, trendel, a circle, ring.]

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"Trinnle n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2024 <>



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