Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BAUCHLE, BACHLE, Bauchel, Bachal, Backle, Baichle, Bachil, Baghil, Baughil, Boghal, Bochle, n. [′bɑ(:)xl, ′bǫ:xl Sc. (see P.L.D. §§ 85, 93), but e.Lth. + ′bexl and w.Dmf. + bəxl; bɑuxl s.Sc.; bɔxl Uls.]

1. An old shoe; a shoe worn down at the heel so that the wearer is made to shamble; a loose slipper; a shoe in general. Sc. 1832–1847 J. Nicholson in J. D. Carrick Whistle-Binkie (1890) II. 121:
Hushions on her bare legs, Bauchels on her feet, Seekin' waukrife bairnies Up an' doun the street.
Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Sc. Proverbs 106:
If it winna be a gude shoe we'll mak a bauchel o't.
Ork. 1854 D. Vedder Poems (1878) 179:
The ha'f-lang dusty baxter chiels Wi' scarce a bauchle on their heels, . . . Wi' glar micht clatt ye.
Abd.(D) 1924 J. C. Mathieson in Swatches o' Hamespun 61:
G' 'wa an' get yer bauchles on.
Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 83:
... she and Jeannie baith bought themselves new stays and bonnie pinnies, alang with silk stockings and new high-heeled backles; they also bought make-up.
Ags. 1848 J. Myles (ed.) A Feast of Literary Crumbs (1891) 17:
Farewell my tatter'd, toil-worn bachals.
Ags. 1995 Courier 18 Mar :
" ... Breeks for his shanks, bauchles for his feet, and the tattie-bogle is complete. ... "
m.Sc. 1922 J. Buchan Huntingtower x.:
“Even a young fit finds comfort in an auld bauchle,” as my mother, honest woman, used to say.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 84:
His stoury bauchles told a tale O' weary miles.
Edb. c.1796 H. MacNeill To C. L., Esq. (1806) II. 68:
Wi' hair unkaim'd, and beard unshorn, And slip-shod bachles, auld, and torn.
Edb. 1999:
Ah'll need tae buy a new pair o shuin an stoap gaun aboot in these bauchles.
wm.Sc. 1989 Anna Blair The Goose Girl of Eriska 102:
He wasn't even thinking about them that March day as he came out of Edinburgh trudging his way in his old bauchles, south through Bruntsfield.
wm.Sc. 1996 Robin Jenkins Lunderston Tales 53:
'Well done, Katie.' But Mrs Blackwood couldn't help wondering how it had been done. Still, it was obvious that Katie needed money. What she was wearing, a grey coat and red tammy, suited her, but the materials were cheap. As for her shoes it was astonishing that Mr Howieson had engaged someone wearing such bauchles.
Rnf. 1816 A. Wilson Poems 9:
Maggy curst them ane and a', Clappet wi' her hands, and stamping, Lost her bauchles i' the sna'.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail II. xiv.:
To misuse me as I were nae better than an auld bachle.
w.Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott Vern. of Mid-Nithsdale, Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 17:
Bauchles [also bochles], worn-out boots, with the backs cut out so that the feet could be slipped into them without trouble; used by the herds for schloofing about the house.
Uls.3 1930:
Bauchle, an old shoe.
Uls. 1993:
I keep these old bauchles for the garden.

Hence bauchle-fitted, wearing badly worn shoes, ill-shod. Gen.Sc. Ags. 1927 Brechin Advert. (25 Oct.) 3:
There! braithless bauchle-fitted Bell Was comin' like the Deil himsel'.

2. (See quot.)w. and s.Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
Bachles . . . the lumps of snow which collect on the shoes in walking over fresh snow.

3. An old, useless, worn-out person or thing. Also attrib.Cai.4 c.1920:
Bachle, slipper, hence transferred to mean old people — e.g. an auld bachle, an old man.
Bnff.3 1910:
“Sic a bauchle o' a crettur',” I have heard often applied to a fat child with a waddly, “shoudy” gait, say through having bandy legs.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 258:
Yestreen I cam' hame frae the trauchle, My brain in a fever wi' fyke, Fell clyte in a chair like a bauchle, An' growl'd at a' roun' like a tyke.
e.Lth. 1882 T. Cowan in Edwards Mod.Sc. Poets, Series 4, 333:
For men do sometimes reach the bauchle state, And in the poorhouse end their hapless lives.
Lnk. 1926 W. Queen We're a' coortin' 24:
I'll tell her whit I think baith aboot her an' her weans, ay, an' aboot her man tae — the wee shauchly-leggit bauchle that he is.
Ayr. 1830 Galt Lawrie Todd III. vii. i.:
Nor was [our progress] helpen by the beggarly bachle [coach] breaking down.

4. An untidy or clumsy person. More generally, a contemptuous term for a person.Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 26:
I wis awfy teen wi religion masel and I thought this laddie wid be rare company tae work aside, but whit an ill-natured, cantankerous bachle he wis.
e.Lth. c.1914 (per Hdg.2):
“She is a baichle,” an untidy person.
m.Sc. 1994 Mary McCabe Everwinding Times 321:
Gradually his attention focussed on a chat-up scene to his right - a red-haired freckly girl, and a small Neanderthal-looking bauchle.
Gsw. 1964 George Friel The Boy who Wanted Peace (1985) 61:
Percy was frightened. He didn't see a square man in a belted raincoat, stained and shabby, with a curly-brimmed felt hat down over his eyes and a scar from the wing of his nose to the bend of his right jawbone. This was no Glasgow bauchle. What he saw was a looming supernatural figure that he identified with a deity he thought of as Nimeesis.
Armagh, Tyr., Ant., Dwn. 1930 (per Uls.3, Uls.2):
Bachil, Baghil, Baughil, Boghal, a poor workman, one who spoils everything he puts his hand to.

5. Clumsy work, bungle; hence a laughing-stock. Phr. to mak a bauchle o' to treat with disrespect, to make a butt or botch of. Sc. 1793 “Tam Thrum” Look before ye Loup 19:
Our parliament, sic as it is, Harry, is no' to mak' a bauchle o'.
Sc. 1893 R. L. Stevenson Catriona xi.:
Though generally rather a bauchle of a business.
Ags. 1875 Brechin Advert. (20 April) 4:
We dinna like to be made a bauchel o'.
Per. 1887 R. Cleland Inchbracken xix.:
It's but the De'il's name I'm makin a bauchil o'.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xi.:
We have made a perfect bauchle of the business.

6. (See quot.)Per. 1825 Jam.2:
Bauchle, the upright front of a peat-barrow; one of two pieces of wood fixed on the sides of a cart to extend the surface.

[Origin obscure. Phs. connected with Bauch, adj., q.v.]

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

"Bauchle n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: