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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CROCHLE, CROCHEL, CROICHLE, CROCKLE, v. and n. [′krɔxəl, ′krɔɪxəl, ′krɔkəl]

1. v. To limp, walk lamely (Sc. 1911 S.D.D., croichle; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 32; Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 1941). Ppl.adjs. (1) crochlin', crocklin, crochlan, cripple; “slightly lame (applied to a person)” (Mry.1 1928, crocklin, crochlan; Bnff.2 1941); (2) crochled, crochlet, crochelt, lame, “having the limbs twisted by rheumatism, etc.” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add., crochlet; Abd.7 1925). (1) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 32:
He's a peer crochlin' busht o' a mannie.
(2) Bnff.(D) 1937 E. S. Rae Light in the Window 35:
I maybe leuk a bittie crochelt amang the legs.
Abd.(D) 1922 J. Wight in Swatches 46:
Ye'd ferlie foo sic crochled ted Cud ranter-keep it a'.

Deriv.: crochlie, 1992 Press and Journal 19 Dec 4:
An interested bystander might have noticed they [pensioners at a Christmas lunch] became suddenly fleeter of foot and less crochlie, the closer they got to the doors and the fun and food.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 40:
Bit Mains is in a bog o swyte, his winkers fite wi styoo.
He's stecht in's wivven draavers an sair hankit in's surtoo.
He's burssen, fool an yokie an crochlie i the queets.
The verra feet o him's roassen an fair lowpin in his beets.

2. n. Usually found in pl.: a disease affecting the legs of cattle and causing lameness (Mry. 1825 Jam.2, croichlies; Mry.1 1928, crockles; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 32, crochles; Bnff.2, Abd.9 1941). Cf. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 46:
The water in which skate was boiled, “skate bree,” was accounted an efficacious lotion for sprains and rheumatism in man, gout in pigs, and “crochles” in cattle.
Nai. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Nai. and Mry. 316:
The only name by which it is any where known, is the “Croichlys.” . . . At first one apprehends a dislocation, or other cause of lameness, in the hip-joint; while attending to that, the other leg is discovered to be in the same state, and in a short time the lameness appears in all the legs.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 33:
I lost my best milk coo i' the crochels.
Bnff. c.1920 (per Bnff.6):
Your cow is suffering from that disease known as crochles.

3. Comb.: crochle-girs(s), self-heal, Prunella vulgaris: “it is believed that it is this plant that produces the disease of crochles” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 32, -girs); “a weed common on poor ground” (Bnff.6 c.1920, -girss). Known to Bnff.2 1941.

[O.Sc. has croichit, ppl.adj., ? lame, 1641, which seems to imply the existence of a verb croich, of which this would be a frequentative form.]

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"Crochle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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