- a game played by lumberjacks, in which each tries to balance longest on a floating log while rotating the log with the feet.
Origin of birling
- Chiefly Northern U.S. Lumbering. to cause (a floating log) to rotate rapidly by treading upon it.
- British. to spin or cause to rotate.
- Chiefly Northern U.S. Lumbering. to cause a floating log to rotate rapidly by treading on it.
- to move or rotate rapidly.
- Informal.to spend money freely.
- Informal.to gamble.
- British Informal. an attempt; a gamble.
Origin of birl
[burl; Scot. birl]Chiefly Scot.
- to pour (a drink) or pour a drink for.
- to drink deeply; carouse.
Origin of birle
before 1000; Middle English birlen, Old English byrelian, derivative of byrele butler; akin to bear1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for birling
By the way, did you fellows ever square up on that birling match?Blazed Trail Stories
Stewart Edward White
Why was the sympathy of the crowd with Jimmy Powers in the birling match?Americans All
Birling the brown bowl wi' the fowler and the falconer, and some o' the serving folk.Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated
Sir Walter Scott
- Scot to spin; twirl
- US and Canadian to cause (a floating log) to spin using the feet while standing on it, esp as a sport among lumberjacks
- a variant spelling of burl 2
C18: probably imitative and influenced by whirl and hurl
- archaic, Scot to ply (one's guests, etc) with drink
Old English byrelian; related to byrele cup-bearer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012