Transferred usage of hekelen (“to comb flax or hemp with a heckle”), from Middle English hekele (“a comb for flax or hemp”), from Middle Dutch hekelen (“to prickle, irritate”), from Proto-Germanic *hakilōną. Related to hackle.
- (transitive) To question harshly in an attempt to find or reveal weaknesses. [from later 18th c.]
- (transitive) To insult, tease, make fun of or badger.
- Promise that you won't heckle me after my performance.
- (textiles) To prepare flax for spinning using special combs called hackles
(prepare flax for spinning): hackle
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