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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

KERL, n. Also cairl (Gall. 1951 Gall. Gazette (17 Nov.)); carel, kerel (Gall. 1947 A. McCormick Galloway 207, 208). Variant forms of Carle, n.1, 5., a tall candlestick, q.v. (Ayr.4 1928; ‡Gall. 1959).Gall. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 290:
Lighting the candle with the ethther-stane on it, [they] put it on the kerl or long candlestick.
Gall. 1951 Gall. Gazette (8 Dec.):
The Kerl, he says, was obviously meant to stand on the floor with a loop at the top of the vertical rod for handling and carrying. The end of the loop was usually turned up to form a small hook upon which the candle snuffer was hung. The candle bracket could be moved down the vertical rod until the flame of the candle was opposite the eye of the spinning wheel as would be required, or upwards for reading, sewing, etc.

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"Kerl n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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