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Etymology 1Edit

See thirl.

Alternative formsEdit


thurl (third-person singular simple present thurls, present participle thurling, simple past and past participle thurled)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To cut through; to pierce.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Piers Plowman to this entry?)
  2. (transitive, mining, obsolete) To cut through, as a partition between one working and another.


thurl (plural thurls)

  1. A hole; an aperture.
  2. (mining) A short communication between adits in a mine.
  3. (mining) A long adit in a coalpit.

Etymology 2Edit

(This etymology is missing. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


thurl (plural thurls)

  1. (agriculture, chiefly in the plural) Either of the rear hip joints where the hip connects to the upper leg in certain animals, particularly cattle; often used as a reference point for measurement.
    • 1918, G. C. Humphrey, The Rural Efficiency Guide, Volume 4: Stock Book, page 22,
      Deficiencies which are common to the hind quarters of the cow, include shortness and narrowness of rump, a drooping rump, narrowness between the thurls and pin bones and thickly fleshed thighs.
    • 1921, American Genetic Association, The Journal of Heredity[1], page 327:
      Also I would call attention to the fact that the heifers were wider through the thurls at five months of age than through the hips, but after they had become mature cows they were wider through (or across) their hips, than across their thurls.
    • 1963, South African Journal of Agricultural Science, Volume 6, page 478,
      [?Although] other measurements were taken, only height at withers, depth of chest and width between thurls were analysed statistically; these measurements are representative of development in height, depth and width of body, respectively.
    • 2011, Philip Hasheider, The Family Cow Handbook: A Guide to Keeping a Milk Cow[2], page 40:
      Her pin bones, thurls, and hips should be wide apart and level. The pin bones are the points at the rear of the cow protruding out from the pelvis. The thurls are the hip joints where the rear legs attach on either side of the cows pelvis.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for thurl in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)