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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HANDLE, n., v. Also hand(e)l, haandle (Sh.); han(n)le, hannel, hanil (Rxb. 1875 N. Elliott Nellie Macpherson 43); h(a)unle, haunnle, haunel, hawnle. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. handle, n., v. See P.L.D. § 64, and D, 2.

I. n. Sc. form of Eng. handle.m.Sc. 1994 John Burns in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 25:
He watcht the fire grow reidder an reidder as he caad the haunnle.

1. The hand of a clock (Cai. 1956).Edb. 1881 J. Smith Habbie and Madge 74:
There's the lang handle at the hour o' ten.

2. The shaft of a golf-club.Sc. 1856 St Andrews Cit. (8 June 1940) 5:
The actual stock consisted of 26 finished clubs, 9 irons, 420 blocks, and 200 shafts called “handles.”
Sc. 1887 W. G. Simpson Art of Golf 92:
Nobody likes stiff shafts . . . A “fozy” handle will do very well if you have a sweeping, scythe-like swing.
Sc. 1896 J. Kerr Golf-Bk. E. Lth. 436:
Clubs in a design of their own — handle and head being roughly made from one piece of thorn.

3. Phr. to tak a' thing by the crookit handle, fig., to think the worst of, put the worst construction, be always looking for faults. m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 65:
Tho' the man's young, that's a faut aye mendin', an' we shouldna jist tak a' thing by the crookit handle.

II. v. Sc. form of Eng. handle.wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 35:
Skinnymalinky so-ca'd flappers canny haud a caunle
Tae a real wummin lik' you, yir too hoat tae haunle
Abd. 1994 Sheena Blackhall in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 138:
They haunlit words like hyows, weedin oot yer mistakes for ye, hell bent on improvin ye, supposin ye wintit improvin or no.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 80:
' ... Ye jist canna haunle it, can ye? Ye want tae get through life withoot engagin wi it. ... '

Sc. usages.

1. In curling: to drag off by the handle a stone that has failed to reach the hog-score (Kcb.10 1956). Hence the derisive call handle 'im! when a stone seems unlikely to pass over the hog-score (Sc. 1902 E.D.D.).Sc. 1886–7 Ann. Royal Caled. Curling Club 349:
Big Andra fairly felled his stane, Han'le 'im, a hog or I'm mista'en.

2. Specif.: to round up and sort sheep. See Handling, 2.Sc. 1807 Farmer's Mag. (May) 202:
Our lambs were handled last week . . . twenty score were sold and . . . the remainder are to be weaned and hogged.

3. Phrs.: (1) to hanle one's feet, to dance well (Cai. 1975); (2) to haunle one's hands, to use one's hands, set about work (Fif. 1975).

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



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