heckle

[hek-uhl]
verb (used with object), heckled, heckling.
1.
to harass (a public speaker, performer, etc.) with impertinent questions, gibes, or the like; badger.
2.
hackle1 ( def 7 ).
noun
3.
hackle1 ( def 5 ).

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English hekelen, variant of hechelen to comb flax; akin to hackle1, hatchel

heckler, noun


1. bait, provoke, needle, hector, hound.
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World English Dictionary
heckle (ˈhɛkəl)
 
vb
1.  to interrupt (a public speaker, performer, etc) by comments, questions, or taunts
2.  (tr) hackle, Also: hatchel to comb (hemp or flax)
 
n
3.  an instrument for combing flax or hemp
 
[C15: Northern and East Anglian form of hackle]
 
'heckler
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

heckle
"to question severely in a bid to find weaknesses," 1788, transferred usage of hekelen "to comb (flax or hemp) with a heckle," from M.E. hekele "a comb for flax or hemp" (early 14c.), from M.Du. hekelen, the original sense of which was "to prickle, irritate," from P.Gmc. *khakilo- (related to hackle).
"Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It is easy to mistake the heckler as an adult, one of many mothers in the crowd
  infuriated by desegregation.
But when the heckler is your boss it takes on a whole new flavor.
It was a heckler in full pads, playfully yelling at a teammate across the field.
The actor's set was interrupted when he jumped into the crowd to confront a
  heckler.
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