Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

WINDLE, n.2, v.1 Also winle, wun(n)l-, wonl-. [wɪn(d)l]

I. n. 1. A measure of straw or hay, equivalent to one-fortieth of a Kemple, q.v. (i.e. 5 or 6 lbs. tron, 7 to 9 lbs. avoirdupois) (m.Lth. 1855 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 1127). m.Lth. 1857 [J. H. Oliver] Brit. Agric. 30:
60 kemples, 18 windles consumed by stock.

2. A bottle of straw (Lnk. 1825 Jam.). Ork. 1894 W. Macintosh Peat-Fires 196:
[He] had the kegs tied up in windles of straw.

II. v. tr. To make up (straw or hay) into bottles (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., wunnle). Bwk. 1764 Session Papers, Yules v. Others, State of Process 91:
He assisted in shaking and windling the straw of crop 1762.
Abd. 1921 Swatches o' Hamespun 10:
Ae geyan grippy aul' tacksmin files set 'im tae wusp an' winle strae.

Hence windlin, -len, winlen, -lin(e), winnlin, wun(n)lin(g), †wonlyne, a bottle of straw, of a specific weight as in 1795 quot., but gen. an average bundle, as much as a man can carry in the crook of his arm (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., wunnlin; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot.; I. and n.Sc. 1974). Comb. winlin-strae, straw used in making bundles of thatch. Sc. 1706 Just Reflections on a Nonsensical Pasquil 44:
He cannot endure to see one Sheaf or Windling of Straw in them.
Abd. 1720 Fintray Ct. Bk. (S.C.) 41:
For thatching the new mill every tenent shall give in three thatch sheaves, four windlings.
Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 34:
He stumbles at a strae and lowps o'er a wonlyne.
m.Lth. 1795 G. Robertson Agric. M. Lth. 208:
Straw is sold by tale, 40 windlens to a kemple, generally from 14 to 16 stone trone weight.
Cai. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 146:
To furnish a certain number of winlins to thatch the mains' stacks, a certain quantity of drawn straw to thatch the mains' houses.
Rxb. 1872 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 135:
There's a lot of good fodder for the horse; won't ye step in to the haugh and get a wunling or two?
Ork. 1911 Old-Lore Misc. IV.iv. 180:
The draught was regulated by filling up a part of the open doorway with windlings of straw.
Cai. 1934 N. Gunn Butcher's Broom i. iv.:
Tied it [straw] into bundles or windlings.
Abd. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 24:
Linseed cake and winlins o' strae.
Sh. 1964 Sh. Folk Book IV. 3:
The “windlin-strae” or “raggie-strae” was now spread over the “gloy”; windlin-strae was the crushed and tangled straw which, during the process of selection, had been separated from the straight “tekkin-strae,” and twisted into small bundles called “windlins.”

[O.Sc. windle, to bundle brushwood, 1536, to wind thread, 1587, freq. form of Wind, v.2 Cf. Mid. Du. windelen, to swathe, swaddle.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Windle n.2, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2020 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: