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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.



heckle ‎(third-person singular simple present heckles, present participle heckling, simple past and past participle heckled)

  1. (transitive) To question harshly in an attempt to find or reveal weaknesses. [from later 18th c.]
  2. (transitive) To insult, tease, make fun of or badger.
    Promise that you won't heckle me after my performance.
  3. (textiles) To prepare flax for spinning using special combs called hackles


(prepare flax for spinning): hackle

Related terms[edit]


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