a try. Usually in the phrase 'give it a burl', meaning to make an attempt at, to try (a task or activity). Probably a blend of the colloquial expressions 'have a bash' and 'give it a whirl'. Give it a burl is one of many Australian expressions given currency in Britain by the cartoon strip The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, written by Barry Hum-phries, which ran in the satirical maga-zine Private Eye between 1965 and 1974. Some of the more colourful of these expressions were in fact coined, or embellished, by Humphries himself, but this phrase was well established in Australia by the early 1960s.

Contemporary slang . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • burl — [bʉrl] n. [ME burle < OFr bourle, flocks or ends of threads < VL * burrula, small flock of wool < LL burra, wool] 1. a knot in wool, thread, yarn, etc. that gives a nubby appearance to cloth 2. a kind of knot on some tree trunks or woody …   English World dictionary

  • burl´er — burl «burl», noun, verb. –n. 1. a small knot or lump in wool or cloth. 2. a) a large knot or excrescence in certain woods. The most highly prized burls include redwood, myrtle, walnut, cherry, ash, and maple. b) a veneer made with this wood. –v.t …   Useful english dictionary

  • Burl — (b[^u]rl), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Burled} (b[^u]rld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Burling}.] [OE. burle stuffing, or a knot in cloth; cf. F. bourlet, bourrelet, OF. bourel, a wreath or a roll of cloth, linen, or leather, stuffed with flocks, etc., dim. of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Burl — Burl, n. 1. A knot or lump in thread or cloth. [1913 Webster] 2. An overgrown knot, or an excrescence, on a tree; also, veneer made from such excrescences. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • burl — burl·er; burl; …   English syllables

  • burl — small knot in wool or cloth, mid 15c., from O.Fr. bourle tuft of wool, which perhaps is related to the root of BUR (Cf. bur), or from V.L. *burrula small flock of wool, from L.L. burra wool …   Etymology dictionary

  • Burl — A small knot or lump in thread or cloth …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • burl — ► NOUN 1) a lump in wool or cloth. 2) N. Amer. a rounded knotty growth on a tree. ORIGIN Old French bourle tuft of wool , from Latin burra wool …   English terms dictionary

  • Burl — A burl (British bur or burr) is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner. It is commonly found in the form of a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch that is filled with small knots from dormant buds. Burls are the… …   Wikipedia

  • burl — I. /bɜl / (say berl) noun 1. a small knot or lump in wool, thread, or cloth. 2. Also, tree burl. a dome shaped, wart like growth on the trunk of a tree, around 60 cm across and protruding by 30 cm or more, which can be sliced to make burlwood… …   Australian English dictionary

  • burl — give it a burl Give it a try, make an attempt. Burl is one of almost 200 words that Australian English borrowed from British dialects. It is a Scots word for a spin or whirl , and in Australia we have varied the standard English give it a whirl… …   Australian idioms

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