Middle English aul, alle, al, from Old English æl, from Proto-Germanic *ēlō (compare East Frisian älst, Dutch aal, German Ahle), from Proto-Indo-European *Hóleh₂ (compare Khotanese aiysna, Sanskrit अरा (árā))
awl (plural awls)
- A pointed instrument for piercing small holes, as in leather or wood; used by shoemakers, saddlers, cabinetmakers, etc. The blade is differently shaped and pointed for different uses, as in the brad awl, saddler's awl, shoemaker's awl, etc.
a pointed instrument