• A knife; especially, a pocket knife, sheath knife, or clasp knife.
  • A coarse greyish double blanket worn by countrywomen, in the west of England, over the shoulders, like a cloak or shawl.
  • A whittle shawl; a kind of fine woollen shawl, originally and especially a white one.



  • From Middle English whittel ("large knife"), an alteration of thwitel, itself from thwiten, from Old English þwītan ("to strike down, whittle"), from Proto-Germanic *þwītaną, from Proto-Indo-European *tweys- ("to shake, hurl, toss"). Compare Old Norse þveita ("to hurl"), Ancient Greek σείω ("I shake"). Related to thwite and thwaite.
  • From Middle English whytel, from Old English hwitel, equivalent to white + -le; akin to an Icelandic word for a white bedcover.

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