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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PRICKLE, n., v. Sc. usages:

I. n. 1. A prickling or stinging sensation (Sh., Cai., wm.Sc., Uls. 1966). Obs. in Eng. in 14th c.Arg. 1898 N. Munro J. Splendid 223:
A prickle's at my skin that tells me here is dool.

2. In pl.: (1) the spiked metal mat on which curlers stand to gain purchase on the ice when playing a stone, a Crampit, q.v.Knr. 1889 R. S. Young Kinross-shire (1948) 31:
As we on the “prickles” by turns tak' our stand.
Sc. 1893–4 Royal Caled. Curling Club Annual 114:
Upon the prickles tak' your turn, And win the cup.

(2) a type of muzzle set with small spikes, used to prevent a calf sucking the cow. Cf. pirkle, id., s.v. Pirk, n.Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 171:
An ellison an' can'le moulds an' prickles for the carr.

3. A tool used by bakers for piercing or pricking dough (Rxb. 1966).Rnf. 1862 A. M'Gilvray Poems 327:
Lay by the prickles, slips, and pins The barrels, broads, and setters.

II. v. 1. To stand on end, to stick up, rise erect (Ork., Bnff. 1966).Ayr. 1820 Galt Annals xliv.:
The very first sound o't made the hair on my old grey head to prickle up.
Sc. 1897 W. Beatty Secretar xl.:
My hair prickling, and the cold shooting down my back.
Sc. 1905 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 305:
The roofs of gray shingles or red tiles prickling up through the mass of greenery.

2. In deriv. prickler, appar. = pricker, a light pony, s.v. Prick, I., 4.Sc. 1863 Border Mag. (Sept.) 185:
To Laird Usher my brither-in-law o' Faften field a hunder merks Scotis, and my nobbler and the twa auld pricklers which I took frae the lads o' the Border when they cam ae night to harrie me.

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"Prickle n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2024 <>



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