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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SHAUCHLE, v., n., adj. Also -el, s(c)hachle, -el, -il, sha(u)ghle, schauchle; shochel, s(c)ho(a)chle; shuchle, sh(e)ughle; sha(u)ckle, shuckle, shaucle, shockle; ¶shaugle. [ʃǫxl, ʃɑxl]

I. v. 1. (1) intr. To walk without lifting the feet, to shuffle, shamble, walk in an ungainly, heavy-footed manner (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Ork. 1958 Ork. Herald (25 Feb.) 3, shuckle). Gen.(exc.I.)Sc. Also transf. and fig. Also vbl.n.  Also of one's shoes: to scuffle, fit loosely, be slack.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 142:
Had you such a Shoe on every Foot, you would shochel.
Abd. 1813 D. Anderson Poems 117:
Gutty carlies schochlin rin.
Sc. 1817 Hogg in Blackwood's Mag. (April) 23:
Off comes Geordie, shaugle shauglin a' his pith. [Works (1837) II. 152: shaughle shaughlin.]
Sc. 1835 Wilson's Tales of the Borders I. 149:
Dinna let yer shoon be shaughlin aff yer feet in that gaet.
Slg. c.1860 Trans. Slg. Arch. Soc. (1923) 23:
Wi' bauchles a' slaiggered owre, A lassie shauchled through thick an' thin.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) ii.:
Sandy gaed shauchlin' oot at the door.
Arg. 1896 N. Munro Lost Pibroch 187:
The amadan laughed at her, and went shauchling down to the cotter's.
Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 10:
The sight o' John Jamieson shaughlin doon the road after seein' him marchin' through the toon like a sojer.
ne.Sc. 1929 M. W. Simpson Day's End 19:
When the shadows are shauchlin', black an' blin'.
Sc. 1970 Scots Mag (Jan.) 369:
An ungainly flat-bottomed boat shauchling drunkenly on a heavy swell.
m.Sc. 1979 Ian Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 41:
An' when they come shaughlin' doon ma lobby
they'll get a shog frae ma frien', the bobby.
The game's a bogey - but no' their game:
we'll gar them wish that they hadnae came.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 45:
He gangs eastlins
doun the derkened street -
the bowf o's hoast -
the shauchlin o's feet.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 37:
(he wis humphy-backit
himsel an' cuid fricht
the life f'ae onie bairn
whaun he shauchelt oot o the dairk)
Slk. 1991 Harvey Holton in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 132:
Heich owre hazel-shaw, owre hedder oo hechle
sweit staunan sterk oan body an brou,
drookit by drizzle frae alien airts
oo schauchle tae shelter tae pick at oor piece.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 143:
The house was in a state right enough, falling apart, and there was next to no food in it. She wasn't hungry any more. She couldn't eat for the thought of him coming back.
As she shauchled round, she sang a few notes to herself. Maybe it was a psalm, maybe it was a pagan song. She didn't care.

(2) tr. To wear a garment, shoes, etc., out of shape, to twist or buckle by rough usage, to distort (wm.Sc., Kcb. 1970).Sc. 1808 Jam.:
He has shachilt aw his schoon.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Sc. Verses 35:
Sma' fear o' ticht shoon raisin' corns on his taes, They ne'er shauchlet the feet o' Kate Galloway's Tam.

(3) Derivs.: ppl.adjs. (i) shauchlin, (a) of persons, animals or their gait; unsteady or weak on one's feet, shambling, shuffling, knock-kneed, wearing worn-out shoes (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; n., m. and s.Sc. 1970); of shoes: out of shape, down at heel and worn, badly-fitting (Sc. 1832 Scott Works XXXIX. 508; Watson; Bnff., Abd., Fif., w.Lth., wm. and s.Sc. 1970); of other articles: rickety, ramshackle, wobbly; also fig. of persons; poor-spirited, paltry, wavering, undependable, unworthy; (b) as a n., phs. by confusion with -lin(g), suff.: a puny ill-developed person, a weakling; (ii) shachled, shachl't, = (i) (a) (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Per., Ayr. 1915–23 Wilson; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Sc. 1970). Phr. shaughled shoes, worn-out and discarded shoes, used fig. of an abandoned sweetheart, an old flame. See Shae, n., 2.; (iii) shauchlie, -y, sheughly = (i) (a) (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 270; ne. and m.Sc. 1970). Combs. shauchlie-bowlie, bandy-legged (Fif., Lnk. 1970). Cf. Bowlie, adj.; shauchlie-fittit, shambling (Ayr. 1928); shauchlie-leggit, -shanked, bandy-legged. Deriv. shauchleyness, weakness or deformity in the legs, knock-kneedness; (iv) shochelsome, shuffling, heavy or ungainly on one's feet.(i) (a) Dmf. 1806 Scots Mag. (March) 206:
Waddlin' Sam, the shauchlin' ferlie.
Sc. 1823 Lockhart Reg. Dalton III. 119:
Yon poor shaughlin' in-kneed bit scray!
Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 186:
A bit schachlin ewe-necked powney.
Gsw. 1855 Glasgow Past & Present (Pagan 1884) II. 300:
Can you gi'e me a wee pickle 'oo to stap in the neb o' my shune, for they're unco shachlan?
Abd. 1868 G. MacDonald R. Falconer i. iv.:
I'm ower shochlin' for a sodger.
Uls. 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xxix:
He's a great big awkward, shughlin kind o' fellow.
Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. Hermiston iii.:
I would send no man to be a servant to the King that has proved such a shauchling son to his own father.
Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 51:
A shauchlin' wheeled perambulator.
Ags. 1928 Scots Mag. (May) 142:
He had grown into an auld shauclin' carle.
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 6:
A shogglin', shauchlin' cairt.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 186:
Bryce was amazed that the brother he held in so little esteem, who had shamed the family with his ongoings with Amy Fullar, the slow, shauchling Willie, had landed this glowing creature for himself.
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 113:
He had a shauchling uneven gait to his walk but when he was mounted on a brave horse he always felt more like a man among men, and there was bawdy laughter and the sound of rough singing as they swung out of the courtyard.
(b) Dmb. 1868 J. Salmon Gowodean 77:
A bruckit shachlan, nought about you hale.
Per. 1895 I. Maclaren Auld Lang Syne 236:
Ye micht ca' him a shachlin' cratur.
(ii) Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 86:
Ye shape shoon by your ain shachled feet.
Ayr. 1795 Burns Last May vii.:
And how her new shoon fit her auld shachl't feet.
Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxviii.:
Bucklaw was welcome to the wearing of Ravenswood's shaughled shoes.
Dmf. 1825 Jam.:
She's baith shochled and sheyld.
Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballad Book 53:
I saw a puggie wearing boots, And he had but shachled cutes.
Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 45:
A' the wabsters an' shaughled oondocht bodies i' the toon.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xlvi.:
Silver Sand wi' his bit scythe an' his lang shauchelt airms.
s.Sc. 1898 E. Hamilton Mawkin xi.:
We'se find wha's glinked our scogie-lass, And gar him fill his shackled shoon.
Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 47:
Onybody Easie didna like she ca'ed them shachl't. . . . “He's a shachl't-lookin' crater yon.”
Edb. 1923 W. D. Lyell Justice Clerk i.:
Red hair, white face, and shauchled legs!
(iii) Sc. 1830 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 70:
That wee shauchly body the Marquis o' Winchester.
Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 121:
The fleetest racer e'er ye saw was ance a shaughlie foal.
Ags. 1886 A. Willock Rosetty Ends 162:
They had a limp shauchleyness aboot their legs.
Fif. 1896 D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 272:
Hey! for another ride in a shauchly gig down the pitch-black roads.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 167:
They wur that lang an shilpit an shauchly.
Lnk. 1926 W. Queen We're A' Coortin' 24:
Ay, an' aboot her man tae — the wee, shauchly-leggit bauchle that he is.
wm.Sc. 1943 J. Bridie Mr Bolfry i.:
A breed of men that has not died out even in this shauchly generation.
Gsw. 1958 People's Jnl. (6 Dec.):
He's jist a wee shauchly-shanked craitur.
(iv) ne.Sc. 1950 Northern Scot (23 Dec.):
Scotswoman, describing attempts of a raw rustic at a three-some reel: “At first he was some shochel-some, syne he got intae the stotter o't.”

2. With aff: to shuffle or shake off, as by wriggling, get rid of, discard (Abd., Kcd. 1970).Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 83:
An antrin een tried te shochle him aff.
Abd. 1961 Buchan Observer (7 March):
Shocklin' aff her bits o' duds.

II. n. 1. (i)  A shuffling, shambling gait (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd., Kcb. 1970).Sc. 1920 D. Rorie Auld Doctor 26:
Yet the Deil has General Wade For learnin's the shauchle instead o' the step Wi' the weary wark o' a spade.

(ii) A shuffling walk.Lnk. 1991 Duncan Glen Selected Poems 26:
There bidit a man in Glasgow
lady, lady.
He was weill-kent for his weekly shauchle
doon to the broo. His lady, lady
pushed a pram to the steamy
and skelpt the bairns
oot onto the streets.

2. An old worn-out shoe or slipper (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); anything worn-out or dilapidated, a rickety ramshackle instrument or erection (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). ¶Also attrib.Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 194:
There'll be gude tents an' shachels, For drinkers to roar an' to rift.
Ags. 1848 Feast of Liter. Crumbs (1891) 17:
Farewell my tatter'd, toil-worn bachals, Though now a pair o' puir skewld'd shachals.
Sc. 1928 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 304:
The slaudderin' o' their shauchle shoon.
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 23:
and him, nae prodigal, but pit-oot: his nicht-hoose,
dwallin place, a shauchle o caird-board boxes.
Edb. 2004:
She lived in an auld shauchle o a hoose oan the edge o the toon.

3. A weakly, undergrown or deformed person or animal (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 425; Dmf. 1825 Jam.; Ags., Per. 1970). Comb. shochlum[ < -and]-showd, a person with a shambling, waddling gait (Abd.15 1940). See Showd.Abd. 1870 W. Buchanan Olden Days 123:
A sad shachle o' a creatur, wi' legs like a mavis.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xiii.:
The shauchle of a fellow that came wi' me.

4. In pl.: a contemptuous term for the legs, esp. unshapely ones (Abd. 1825 Jam., shochles).

III. adj. Ricketty, unsteady, joggly.Ayr. 1834 Galt Stories of Study III. 77:
If they [solid wheels] had been like our shauckle wheels, they would soon have been broken.

[A freq. form, in orig. prob. chiefly imit. Cf. Eng. dial. shaffle, to shuffle, and shackle, shockl, to rock, totter, shuckle, to slink, which appear to be cogn. with Ger. schaukeln, to swing, rock.]

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"Shauchle v., n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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