[Note: This entry was previously arsle.]
assle v Also arsle, assel, azzle [EDD arsle “To move backwards. . . To move when in a sitting posture; hence, to shuffle, fidget”]
1 To retreat, back (out of a situation or agreement); with ~out: to back down.
1878 People (Indianapolis IN) 21 Sept 5/2, We all know how Remy had to assle out of the mux he got himself into by this contempt charge. He crawfished most beautifully. 1899 (1912) Green VA Folk-Speech 69, Arsle. . . To arsle, to move backwards; to back out. 1903 DN 2.305 seMO, Azzle or azzle out. . . ‘We made a fair trade but he azzled out of it the next day and wouldn’t deliver the property.’ 1942 Lubbock Morning Avalanche (TX) 9 Oct 2/2 neOH, So grandpa had to come down and chew the apes’ ear off. After a lot of slackjaw they began to azzle out and stew, but they finally clicked double riveted. 1987 Ward Ward 78 eKY (as of early 19th cent), I’d been purty kyerless comin’ but now I knowed was the time to be cautious. I assled back into the cane at the forks of the trail.
2 To move when in a sitting position.
1930 Shoemaker 1300 Words 2 cPA Mts (as of c1900), Arsle—To sit unquietly. a1998 in 2011 Hayden Field Man 147 SW, I sat down on the hearth beside this tree. . . Then Paul wandered in and so I slid over. I assled over into a packrat nest without thinking.
3 usu with ~around: To fool around, waste time; hence vbl n assling around. Sth, S Midl, TX Cf ass around v phr
c1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, Assle. . . Fool around, be obviously idle or in the way of those who are trying to work. Assing around is apparently the more common local variant. 1970 DARE (Qu. KK31, To go about aimlessly looking for distraction: “He doesn’t have anything to do, so he’s just _____.”) Inf AR56, Assling around. 1980 Washington Post (DC) 24 Dec (Internet) cTX, Well, consarn that old couple, they asseled around in there, must of been a good hour, buying their little dab. 2000 Wilcox Shaped Notes 39 nwGA (as of 1945), He’d see them every one in hell before paying good wages for such assling around. 2011 in 2017 DARE File—Internet csKY, They are [a] group of people from Ferguson who all know the same phrases—they’re all “azzling around” everywhere they go. 2013 Ibid cAZ, The company assled around and never told us it was out of stock. 2014 DARE File wKY, My father didn’t want anyone who asseled around on his crew at the mine. 2015 in 2017 DARE File—Internet TX, Then [they] assled around until factory warranty was out then tell me it’s going to go under extended.