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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.

PAIDLE, n.2, v.2 Also paddle, -et and erron. form poodle. [′ped(ə)l]

I. n. A spud or long-handled tool for weeding or scraping or clearing the sock or coulter of a plough in the furrow (Sc. 1734 J. Spotiswood Hope's Practicks 542; Abd. 1736 Abd. Estate (S.C.) 15); a hoe (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein, paddle; e.Lth., w. and s.Sc., Uls. 1965); a shovel-shaped fire-iron used for breaking clinkers in a locomotive (Dmf. 1964). Also attrib. as in paidle shaft, the handle of a paidle.Rnf. 1717 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876) I. 214:
Robert Campbell accused of also beating and abusing Patrick Spier in Chapelton with the poodle of ane plough.
Sc. 1730 D. Hume Punishment of Crimes (1797) I. 311:
(The assailants) “beat down one of the soldiers to the ground with a plough-paddle.”
Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. 21:
There must be one to go along with the Plough, with a Paddle, Plough-staff, Shovel or Fork, to clean it.
Bwk. 1756 G. Ridpath Diary (S.H.S.) 68:
Wrought in the garden some time in the evening with the paddle.
e.Lth. 1808 Foord Acct. Bk. MS. 37:
To 4 paidle shafts at 6d.
Lth. 1819 J. Thomson Poems 109:
A coal rake an' a paidle.
Slk. 1894 J. Bathgate Aunt Janet's Legacy 65:
Ye'll get a graip and a paidle at the hay neuk, and gang and clean up the byre.

II. v. tr. and intr. To use or work with a hoe, to clean or clear by means of a hoe (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; e.Lth. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 351; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; e.Lth. 1965).Sc. c.1700 Overture for Cleaning Streets (Pamphlet):
He will cause the whole Streets, Closes, Courts and Turnpyks within Edinburgh to be paddeled and sweept clean every morning.
Abd. 1749 Abd. Council Enactment Bk. (1 Nov.):
They . . . shall carefully raik and paddle up all manner of dung ashes nastiness and small stones that shall be found lying thereon.
e.Lth. 1787 Farmer's Mag. (March 1810) 54:
Now-a-days there's sic ado For men to paddle, delve and plough.
Ags. 1830 A. Balfour Weeds 127:
That weirdless body John Wright, wha paidlet for nearly an owk in't [a garden], an' a poor job he's made o't!
Slk. 1895 J. Bathgate Aunt Janet's Legacy 54:
What wi' the wunnin' o' the peats, an' lookin' after the cow's hay, an' the paidlin' o' the tatties an' cabbage.

[The same word as Eng. paddle, an oar. Mid.Eng. padell, = I., a variant of Pattle, q.v., O.Sc. padill, n. and v., 1556.]

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"Paidle n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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