Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A three-pronged spear used in fishing.
  • transitive v. To spear (a fish) with a leister.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a spear armed with three or more barbed prongs for catching fish

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A spear armed with three or more prongs, for striking fish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A barbed spear having three or more prongs, for striking and taking fish; a salmon-spear. Also called waster.
  • To strike or take with a leister.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a spear with three or more prongs; used for spearing fish (especially salmon)

Etymologies

Probably from Old Norse ljōstr, from ljōsta, to strike; see leu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Yet when anon he came to cast this leister at the muckle kipper, "the 14 lb. waster stottit off his back as if he had been a bag o 'wool."

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • It, too, had five single-barbed prongs, but these were all of equal length, and the wooden handle of this implement was straight, and very much longer than that of the throwing leister; sixteen feet was no unusual length for the handle of the former weapon.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • The leister used in "sunning" or in "burning the water" differed somewhat in shape from the weapon with which Tam Purdie secured his big kipper.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • Nevertheless, there was in that, too, a strong element of excitement, for the weapon used, the clodding or throwing leister, required no mean skill in the using.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • This leister (or waster) was cast by hand at fish lying in not too deep water -- generally, in fact, when they were on the spawning beds.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • Now this clodding waster (or leister) was a possession of which Tam was inordinately proud; amongst his friends its temper and penetrating power were proverbial.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • This throwing leister was a heavy spear, or rather a heavy "graip," having five single-barbed prongs of unequal length but regularly graduated.

    Stories of the Border Marches

  • Bait fishing for salmon, and the darker, though torch-illumined, mysteries of the leister, occupy the terminal chapters.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 333, July 1843

  • It does not fall to the lot of all men to handle with equal dexterity the brush, the pen, and the rod -- to say nothing of the rifle -- still less of the leister, under cloud of night.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 333, July 1843

  • A three-tae'd leister on the ither [- toed fish-spear]

    Robert Burns How To Know Him

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • " ... the vinegared
    and leistered sealed in tins, delicious with saltines,"
    "The Sink" by Catherine Bowman in The New Yorker, June 28, 2010, p 36

    July 14, 2010