{{11}}heckle (n.) "flax comb," c.1300, hechel, perhaps from an unrecorded O.E. *hecel or a cognate Germanic word (Cf. M.H.G. hechel, M.Du. hekel), from P.Gmc. *hakila-, from PIE *keg- "hook, tooth" (see HOOK (Cf. hook)).
{{12}}heckle (v.) early 14c., "to comb (flax or hemp) with a heckle;" from HECKLE (Cf. heckle) (n.) or from related M.Du. hekelen. Figurative meaning "to question severely in a bid to uncover weakness" is from late 18c. "Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED]. Related: Heckled; heckling.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Heckle — Hec kle, n. & v. t. Same as {Hackle}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Heckle — Hec kle, v. t. 1. To interrogate, or ply with questions, esp. with severity or antagonism, as a candidate for the ministry. Robert bore heckling, however, with great patience and adroitness. Mrs. Humphry Ward. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 2. To shout… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • heckle — index annoy, badger, bait (harass), discompose, harass, harry (harass), hector …   Law dictionary

  • heckle — vb *bait, badger, hector, chivy, hound, ride Analogous words: plague, pester, harass, harry, *worry, annoy: disconcert, rattle, faze, discomfit, *embarrass: rack, torment (see AFFLICT) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • heckle — [v] jeer badger, bait, bother, bully, chivy, dis*, discomfit, disconcert, disrupt, disturb, embarrass, faze, gibe, hound*, interrupt, pester, plague, rattle, ride*, ridicule, shout at, taunt, tease, torment, worry; concepts 44,47 Ant. encourage,… …   New thesaurus

  • heckle — ► VERB ▪ interrupt (a public speaker) with derisive comments or abuse. ► NOUN ▪ an instance of heckling. DERIVATIVES heckler noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «dress (flax or hemp) with a comb to split and straighten the fibres»: from a… …   English terms dictionary

  • heckle — [hek′əl] vt. heckled, heckling [ME hekelin < hechele: see HACKLE1] 1. HACKLE1 2. [orig. Scot] to annoy or harass (a speaker) by interrupting with questions or taunts n. HACKLE …   English World dictionary

  • heckle — [[t]he̱k(ə)l[/t]] heckles, heckling, heckled VERB If people in an audience heckle public speakers or performers, they interrupt them, for example by making rude remarks. [V n] They heckled him and interrupted his address with angry questions...… …   English dictionary

  • heckle —  1) to heckle tow, to dress it. N.  2) to heckle, is to look angry ; as a cock raises his heckle when enraged. Derb …   A glossary of provincial and local words used in England

  • heckle — Hatchel Hatch el ( [e^]l; 277), n. [OE. hechele, hekele; akin to D. hekel, G. hechel, Dan. hegle, Sw. h[ a]kla, and prob. to E. hook. See {Hook}, and cf. {Hackle}, {Heckle}.] An instrument with long iron teeth set in a board, for cleansing flax… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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