creel v, hence vbl n creeling [Perh blend of creen (pronc var of careen v) + keel (over), or related to EDD creel v.2 1 “To crouch, bend the body; to cower, shrink, go about in a stealthy way”] chiefly S Midl, Plains States, but esp sAppalachians
1 also with over; Intr: To tip or slew to one side; to fall over, collapse; also tr: to cause to tilt; hence ppl adjs creeled (over) askew, tipped.
1870 Pittsburgh Commercial (PA) 20 Jan /2, The barges forward on the left struck, swinging the steamer around broadside against the next pier. She immediately creeled over. 1877 Weekly KS Chief (Troy) [25 Oct 3]/3, It is not only a nuisance, but an obstruction, with those stepping-stones sticking up eight or ten inches high, creeled over like the tomb stones in an old grave-yard. 1880 Hartford Herald (KY) 31 Mar 3/3, V. B. Morton, of Ceralvo, procured letters patent for an invention to prevent shoes or boots from creeling over or running down at the heel. 1897 Owingsville Outlook (KY) 11 Mar 1/1, It [=a violent wind] almost ruined two tobacco barns by twisting and creeling them over. 1912 SW Reporter (1st ser) 144.305/1 TX, “I saw that piece was creeled the day before. . .” . . Plaintiff further testified in regard to the condition of the guard rail: “When the bolts pushed over, that caused it to creel over.” 1917 Murdoch Almetta 49 eKY, I jes’ teched one uv the table-legs the least with my foot, an’ the table jest creeled over the least grain on that short leg. 1939 Weekly Advt. (Red Cloud NE) 20 Oct /1, See how the wind a while back creeled my barn. I believe the bins being full of grain saved it. 1943 LANE Map 547, 1 inf, RI, A bench is kitter-cornered if it’s [kəˈrilɪn ˈoᴜvə] (i.e. about to fall). 1974 Fink Mountain Speech 5 wNC, eTN, Creel. . . to reel, give way or fall. “His leg creeled under him.” 1982 Slone How We Talked 101 eKY (as of c1950), To “creel over dead.” 1984 DARE File KY, “That pile of tobacco slats is creeling,” meaning it’s beginning to fall over. 1994 Mullins Cornfields 180 swVA, Yeah, and I know who owns them shoes with the creeled-over heels. 1995 (1998) Brophy Coll. 16 swMO (as of c1960), Creel. . . to topple, as pottery stacked in a kiln. 1999 Times–Mail (Bedford IN) 1 Oct 1/4, As he began welding one beam, the beam next to it began bearing more and more weight—and began creeling over, much to White’s shock.
2 To twist or sprain (one’s ankle or other part of the body); hence ppl adj creeled wrenched, sprained.
1895 Oswego News–Blade (KS) 19 Jan /1, While skating on the river she fell, creeling her ankle in such a manner as to sprain it very severely. 1904 Abingdon Virginian (VA) 27 May 1/2, When four miles west of Lebanon the mare stepped on a rock and creeled her foot, breaking her shoulder. 1906 Beatrice Daily Sun (NE) 11 Mar 1/4, He was running on the school grounds where he is teaching . . and stepped upon a round stick that creeled his ankle. 1917 DN 4.410 wNC, Creel. . . To wrench. “I creeled my knee (neck, back).” 1947 Newark Advocate & Amer. Tribune (OH) 25 Sept 14/5, He struck at me again, and he hit me that time, and I kind of creeled my ankle, and I kind of went down. 1966 DARE (Qu. BB3b, A sudden pain that strikes you in the back) Inf AR21, A creel back [=assim form of creeled back]. 1968 Atkins Age Jim Crow 213 TN [Black], Before boarding the train at Jackson, I creeled an ankle, and had a most uncomfortable trip. 1975 Chalmers Better 34 Smoky Mts, Run-of the-mill stuff, this morning. . . Splinters and briars, a “risin’” to incise for drainage, a “creeled foot” strapped to relieve strained muscles, and “pizen-vine” rash. 1983 MJLF 9.36 ceKY, Creel . . to sprain (an ankle). 2021 Gipe Pop 35 eKY, She got to the far side of the road, creeled her ankle stepping off the blacktop.