birling

birling

[bur-ling]
noun Chiefly Northern U.S.
a game played by lumberjacks, in which each tries to balance longest on a floating log while rotating the log with the feet.

Origin:
birl + -ing1

Dictionary.com Unabridged

birl

[burl]
verb (used with object)
1.
Chiefly Northern U.S. Lumbering. to cause (a floating log) to rotate rapidly by treading upon it.
2.
British. to spin or cause to rotate.
verb (used without object)
3.
Chiefly Northern U.S. Lumbering. to cause a floating log to rotate rapidly by treading on it.
4.
British.
a.
to move or rotate rapidly.
b.
Informal. to spend money freely.
c.
Informal. to gamble.
noun
5.
British Informal. an attempt; a gamble.

Origin:
1715–25; perhaps blend of birr1 and whirl, influenced, in some senses, by birle

birler, noun

birle

[burl; Scot. birl] Chiefly Scot.
verb (used with object), birled, birling.
1.
to pour (a drink) or pour a drink for.
verb (used without object), birled, birling.
2.
to drink deeply; carouse.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English birlen, Old English byrelian, derivative of byrele butler; akin to bear1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
birl1 (bɜːl, Scottish bɪrl)
 
vb
1.  (Scot) to spin; twirl
2.  (US), (Canadian) to cause (a floating log) to spin using the feet while standing on it, esp as a sport among lumberjacks
 
n
3.  a variant spelling of burl
 
[C18: probably imitative and influenced by whirl and hurl]
 
'birling1
 
n

birl2 (bɜːl, Scottish bɪrl)
 
vb
archaic (Scot) to ply (one's guests, etc) with drink
 
[Old English byrelian; related to byrele cup-bearer]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

birling

outdoor sport of the North American lumberjack. Its origin can be traced to the spring log drives of eastern Canada and the New England states, particularly the state of Maine, during the early lumbering era in the 19th century, from which it moved westward to the Great Lakes region and then to the Pacific Northwest.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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