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yawler (plural yawlers)

  1. One who sails a yawl.
    • 1911, The Canadian Magazine - Volume 36, page 202:
      The Englishman, having had his yacht rammed by a yawler which immediately began to careen, boarded the doomed vessel, clubbed the senses, if not the life, out of a crew of mutineering sailors (a performance that is not often encountered outside of highly adventurous narratives of the sea), and rescued the temptress by conducting her to his yacht (which, by the way, was not his own but his uncle's, and which had not been seriously damaged).
    • 1969, Leonard George Carr Laughton, Roger Charles Anderson, William Gordon Perrin, The Mariner's Mirror - Volume 55, page 246:
      However, he was really pointing out that there was no evidence of the yawl rig having been used by the pilots, and went on to deal with the 'yawlers' without apparently realizing that they had a special type of craft.
    • 1987, The Dalesman - Volume 49, page 494:
      For decades there have been yawlers in these reaches of the river, and if anyone knows a thing or two about these waters, they do.
  2. (cornwall) A young boy or old man who provides support to an oceangoing fishing boat, guiding the jolly boat to shore, performing simple maintenance of the jolly boat, bringing provisions, etc.
    • 1955, World Fishing - Volume 4, page 42:
      At Newlyn each lubber kept a 4-oared boat at anchor, but at Mousehole 3-oared jolly-boats were preferred. These craft were left in charge of a "yawler," a lad aged from 10 to 14, who was paid 1s. 6d. a week (fig. 3, inset).
    • 1970, Alfred Kenneth Hamilton Jenkin, Cornwall and its people, page 110:
      The yawlers were not all boys, however. A few of them were aged fishermen who, no longer having strength for the strenuous life at sea, had returned to their boyhood's job, and did it well.
    • 1977, John Dyson, Business in Great Waters: The Story of British Fishermen, page 224:
      Each lugger kept a large dinghy at Newlyn in charge of a boy aged between ten and fourteen who was known as the yawler.
    • 2016, A. K. Hamilton Jenkin, Cornish Seafarers - The Smuggling, Wrecking and Fishing Life of Cornwall:
      As she did so, the painter was nimbly thrown to those on board, and the yawler would crouch low in expectation of the jerk with which, as the rope became taut, his jollyboat sat up almost on end, with the water boiling up behind the stern as if intent on swamping her.
  3. A juvenile herring.
    • 1905, Arthur Henry Patterson, Nature in Eastern Norfolk, page 168:
      Fifty years ago Gannets in twos and threes were not infrequently seen on Breydon, whither they went and fished for "yawlers" (half-grown herrings), that were plentiful there in those deep-water days.
    • 1911, Zoologist: A Monthly Journal of Natural History, page 443:
      On January 30th I examined some so-called Sprats that were being hawked around the town, finding them mostly "yawlers" (probably derived from "yearlings"), or young Herrings a span long; only one-tenth were Sprats, a shameful netting of next to useless fish.
    • 1920, Thomas Southwell, Transactions - Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society: Volume 10, page 363:
      From the East Suffolk stow-nets "yawlers" (half -grown herrings) were being hawked about the streets on February 21st at 4d. per lb., insipid, undeveloped fish, which it was a pity to net.
  4. One who yawls (howls).
    • 1856, Amherst College Magazine - Volume 4, Issues 1-7, page 235:
      A fellow has smuggled in a cat, a famous yawler, and right in the midst of your most solemn appeal, it gives a genuine, border-ruffian screech.
    • 1902, Ellen D'Apery, "The Show Girl," Or, The Cap of Fortune, page 90:
      Now, if I can only eat my fill for once in my life, I will show that old yawler, Nicodemus, what I am made of.
    • 1990, David Mercer, Plays: One, page 327:
      But it's a lovely baby. (Pause) Bit of a yawler. (Pause.) You were a bit on a yawler. (Pause.) It's not a bad thing in a baby.