Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)


PIRL, v., n. Also pirrl, pur(r)(e)l. [pɪrl, pʌrl]

I. v. 1. tr. (1) To twist, twine. twirl, coil, curl (Cld., Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; ne.Sc., Ags., Lth., Ayr., s.Sc. 1965), freq. of horse-hair or the like being twisted to make fishing-lines, or of the making of rug ends (Slk. 1965). Hence pirler, one who makes rug ends (Id.). Slk. 1832 Hogg Queer Book 183:

The bowselly hair upon his head Was pirled with his dark eebree. Ayr. 1833 Galt Poems 43:

Nae mutch had she, but a snood of beads Was purl’d in her hair. Edb. 1839 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xxvi.:
A bit daigh, half an ounce weight, pirled round wi’ the knuckles into a case. Slk. 1874 Border Treasury (31 Oct.) 169:
D’ye pirl yer ain lines an’ buss yer ain heuks?