Transferred usage of Middle English hekelen (“to comb flax or hemp with a heckle”), from 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
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
heckle (plural heckles)
- Alternative form of
- The long shining feathers on a cock's neck.
- A feather ornament in the full-dress bonnets of Highland regiments.