Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Word of the Day -- Hingle

Hingle, an English dialect word that is now hardly known, is a snare with which to catch a hare or rabbit. It’s essentially a bent twig or loop of wire.

At root, hingle means a hinge and the word has also been used in dialect in that sense; it can be traced to the Old English hengle that’s also the origin of hinge.
Hingle has been recorded across a band of English counties from Lancashire and Cheshire in the west to Norfolk in the east. A couple of references suggest that the snares were also used to catch wild birds. In 1880 The Zoologist wrote about Norfolk that “Sky Larks were, at that time, so plentiful in the ‘Fen,’ that from twenty to thirty dozen were taken daily in ‘hingles.’” An old ordinance about swans, said to be from the reign of Henry VIII and presented to a conference in Lincoln in 1848, read in part “It’m [Item] that no person shall set any hingles, snares or engines for foule, from Shrovetide to St Luke’s Day.” 

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