quirl v Also sp querl, rarely quarl [Appar a blend of curl, quoil or quile (varr of coil v1, n1), and perh twirl. Cf SND quirl v. “Nonce alteration of Engl. whirl [corrected to twirl in the Suppl.]” with a single 1808 quot.] Cf quirl n, quirled ppl adj, quirly adj
1 To writhe or twist; also fig; hence ppl adj, vbl n quirling.
1754 in 1757 Soc. Physicians Med. Observations & Inquiries 1.67 Philadelphia PA, After 9 or 10 months she thought there was something alive in her side, for (to use her own expression) she said she plainly perceived a tickling, and quirling in it. 1755 Ibid 1.77 Philadelphia PA, She next complained of a quirling pain, that wou’d last three or four hours with the utmost violence. [DARE Ed: This refers to the same case as the preceding quot.] 1796 Spooner’s VT Jrl. (Windsor) 30 Dec 1/3, But there is a set of men, who are like snakes, after you have separated their heads from their bodies, they will quirl three or four days. 1862 Orleans Independent Std. (Irasburgh VT) 24 Oct /5, For soon this black rebellious reptile, which has so long been quirling round the liberty-pole . . will receive a terrible stab between the ribs, with a bayonet tempered by the fires of our Northern lights. 1871 KS Democrat (Oswego) [16 Mar] 5/4, We dropped in on Charlie McGill, took a cigar, and while watching the smoke “quirl,” listened to some of the finest music we have heard in a long time. 1877 Cowley Co. Telegram (Winfield KS) [9 May 6]/5, Just before the pains or convulsions come on young Benning stated that he felt something crawling in his belly, and seemed to twist and quirl around his intestines, after which the pain would throw him into fits. 1891 Overland Mth. (2d ser) 17.270, We were located on the bank of a creek,—the outflow from Leon Springs, with . . its lithe little green water-snakes quirling among the frail reeds.
2 freq with up, occas with down: To assume a coiled shape; to curl oneself into a compact posture with the limbs drawn up; also trans: to compose (oneself or one’s limbs) in such a posture; fig, to give up; hence vbl n quirling. Cf quirled ppl adj 1, 2
1823 Sat. Eve. Post 4 Jan 1/5, More than once have I seen an infant nearly suffocated by a cat quirling upon the face of the little sufferer. 1838 Lamoille R. Express (Johnson VT) 6 July 1/2, You have witnessed a nurse with a crying fractious child, lose all patience, cry out to the child, bugaboo!—the child quirls down, thrusts its head and face under the nurses [sic] arm, is whist and silent as the house of death. 1846 Florence Gaz. (AL) 11 July /1, No one who does not delight in the scent of the dog-fennel, or the aroma of the skunk, can withstand such nonsense as is contained in that article. . . A fellow can’t read it without letting all holds go, querling up and falling as limber as a coon, before the grin of the gallant and immortal Davy Crocket. 1855 Weekly Placer Herald (Auburn CA) 14 July 1/4, The Mexican bee does not do well here. . . When he feels the chill blast he quirls down on a leaf and before it is passed he is paralyzed. 1864 in 1948 GA Hist. Qrly. 32.287 CT, I quirled myself up on the seat and snoozed away till 7 A M then every thing being propitious the head engine gave two whistles, the pusher ditto and away we went. 1866 Med. & Surgical Reporter 15.515 NYC, She quirls up into a heap, and acts like a woman in labor. 1877 Beecher in Chr. Union 16.33/3, I have a hound on my place which I think well of except when he comes to me, and lies down on his back, and rolls over, and querls up his legs in most distressing humility and obsequiousness. 1878 Pacific Rural Press (San Francisco CA) 4 May 284/4 CA, I have had beautiful roses until within the last two years; then they began to blight or dry up. The leaves will all quirl up and are of a whitish color. 1902 DN 2.242 sIL, Quarl or quoil. . . Different pronunciations of coil, as a snake. 1906 DN 3.122 sIN, Quarl, querl, quoil. . . To coil. 1919 Jrl. Amer. Folkl. 32.381 AL, When you want to run away, never run straight. The snake cannot turn without qwirling [coiling], and that gives you time to get away. 1934 Asheville Citizen–Times (NC) 30 Sept sec D 8/5, Corn blades in dry weather querl. 1946 Charlotte Observer (NC) 9 Jan sec 2 4/6, If I had received the comment on this column that I have on my picture, I would have quirled long ago, but when friends tell me that they do not think my picture is a bit of good, I feel flattered. 1949 AmSp 24.112 SC, Querl up. . . Curl up. [Barnwell Co., S.C.] 1956 Dorson Negro Folktales 196 MI, Mr. Snake was in a quirl where he’d quirled up for the winter. 1975 Chalmers Better 66 eTN, They will come a-tippin’ in on their toes and quirl down on a little ol’ settin’ chair and linger up by the fire.
3 occas with up: To coil or twist (something); hence vbl n quirling.
1837 Middlebury Free Press (VT) 4 July 1/1, Perhaps some of your readers may see fit to quirl up their noses—and murmur at being fed so much upon Wild Oats. 1840 Cooper Pathfinder 1.206 wNY, One of his hands coiled a rope against the sun, and he called it querling a rope, too, when I asked him what he was about. 1867 Eve. Telegraph (Philadelphia PA) 8 Feb 8/1, What is more odious on earth than a bold, masculine woman? Nothing except it be a feminine man, a soft, delicate, be-powdered, long pink colored gentleman, quirling a reflection of a moustache. 1894 Freeman Pembroke 215 seMA, “It won’t hurt you none to make a few lamp-lighters,” said his mother. “You set right down here, an’ I’ll get you some paper.”. . . She got some paper out of the cupboard, and Ephraim sat down and began quirling it into long spirals with a wretched sulky air. 1899 (1912) Green VA Folk-Speech 341, Querl. . . To twirl; turn or wind around; coil: as to querl a cord, thread, rope. 1967 Brattleboro Daily Reformer & VT Phoenix 22 Sept 8/5, [Instructions for making a quirl rug n:] These strips are threaded on to a length of good quality rug thread with a half inch running stitch. Each is pushed to the knotted end of the thread and quirled or twisted around the thread.
4 also with up: To have the form of a coil or curl; hence ppl adj quirling.
1849 Derby Jrl. (CT) 5 Apr /2, Quirling in some half dozen concentric circles, lies in our sanctum a chain twenty two feet in length, turned from pure cast steel by Mr. Marvin Warner. 1868 Knoxville Press & Messenger (TN) 7 May 1/2, The fac’ is, my coteails quirls up like a pine shavin. 1884 Lawrence Daily Gaz. (KS) 18 Oct 1/1, [Letter:] It was the old story over again of the futility of trying to construct a musical instrument out of the quirling appendage of an infant swine. 1885 Cottage Hearth 11.70 MA, You don’t look a mite worse than you did before. ’Tis curly at the ends and quirls up round your ears quite becoming. 1944 PADS 2.30 eKY, Quirl [kwɝl]. . . To curl. “Does hit quirl like a pig’s tail?” . . Common.
5 with down: To become less arrogant. Cf quile v
1905 Holley Around the World 273 cnNY, They crowed over me quite a little after they went to Loontown to see them views of the spink and the Pyramaid of Chops. . . I guess they’ll have to quirl down a little when I tell ’em I’ve walked round the spink and seen old Chops with my own eyes.
6 with up, over; Intr: to twist, turn abruptly. Cf quirled ppl adj 3
1922 S. Reporter 90.842 LA [Black], When he made the step there—put his foot on the box—you see, and aimed to catch up there—the box querled over and he fell. 1942 in 1944 ADD 489 NC, [kwɚld]. My foot kindly quirled up & I sat on it.
7 To make (a quirl rug n); hence vbl n phr rug quirling; n quirling the products of this operation. Cf 3 above
1967 Brattleboro Daily Reformer & VT Phoenix 22 Sept 8/6, From this point on lengths of quirling are sewn around the center point in ever increasing sizes as the work grows larger. Ibid 21 Nov 9/2, Learn Rug Quirling— . . . At Friday’s meeting, Mrs. Florence Sheiman gave a demonstration on rug quirling, during which several members started a piece of quirling. 1968 Brattleboro Daily Reformer & VT Phoenix 30 July 12/3, Demonstrations and exhibits attracted a steady stream of visitors to the classroom areas of Putney School. Rugs were hooked, braided and quirled from wools and used baler twine.