From Middle English aul, alle, al, from Old English æl, from Proto-West Germanic *al, from Proto-Germanic *alaz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ólos. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Äil (“awl”), Dutch aal (“awl”), German Low German Ahl (“awl”), German Ahle (“awl”), Icelandic alur (“awl”). Spelling was influenced by the Old English synonym awel, awul (“awl”), from Proto-West Germanic *ahwal, from Proto-Germanic *ahwalaz (“fork, hook”), of unknown origin. Doublet of elsen.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɔːl/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɔl/
- (cot–caught merger, Canada) IPA(key): /ɑl/
- Rhymes: -ɔːl
- Homophones: all, I'll
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.
- 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 149:
- He dressed himself in some old ragged clothes, and took a tame white bear, which he had, with him, as well as an awl, some pitch, and twine.
- (entomology) Any of various hesperiid butterflies.
- Lukram Himmat Singh (2013) A Descriptive Grammar of Zou, Canchipur: Manipur University, page 40