from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of two Scottish kitchen implements made of wood; a flat one for turning oatcakes, or a stick for stirring porridge
  • v. To spurt, spatter or sputter

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To spurt or shoot in a scattering manner.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shoot in a scattering manner; spurt.
  • n. A stick used for stirring.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • A spurtle is a wooden stick like tool which is able to get right into the corners of the pot, but doesn't resist its path through the porridge like a wooden spoon can.


  • Take a knife (a 'spurtle' is the proper utensil) in the right hand, and some Scotch, or coarse, oatmeal in the left hand, and sprinkle the meal in gradually, stirring it briskly all the time; if any lumps form draw them to the side of the pan and crush them out.

    Cassell's Vegetarian Cookery A Manual of Cheap and Wholesome Diet

  • Ugly, old words like piggin and spurtle and keeler, which are all kitchen implements.

    An Interview with Charles Frazier, about Cold Mountain

  • Truly, the voice of the spurtle is heard in the land.

    In praise of… porridge | Editorial

  • Whether they are stirred in with a wooden spoon or, as Mitchell advises, with a spurtle or a gruel-tree Shetland usage is probably optional, but the addition of cream or milk – never sugar – completes a winter experience that can only be described as truly halesome.

    In praise of … porridge | Editorial

  • One of the best things with which to stir the porridge is a spurtle.


  • Mix the oats, water and salt in a pot and cook for a while, stirring frequently with your spurtle.


  • This lady had leaped on his back and was beating him about the head with a spurtle, uttering shrieks of condemnation.

    A Breath of Snow and Ashes

  • She skimmed the grey foam off the water with a spurtle she had whittled that afternoon out of a poplar limb for lack of the dogwood she needed to do the job right.

    Cold Mountain

  • She laid down the porridge spurtle like a queen abdicating her sceptre.

    The Dew of Their Youth


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  • "'They call you the White Witch, do they not?' the man said, and smiled. It wasn't in any way a pleasant expression.

    'Some do. What of it?' I said, taking a good grip on my spurtle and staring him down."

    —Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone (New York: Delacorte Press, 2009), 586

    December 17, 2009

  • It could be what Seth did: after all that mollocking in the sukebind he turned to spurtling in the koumiss, and Adam had to cletter it up arter 'im.

    December 23, 2008

  • But I never heard "spirtle" as a verb.

    December 23, 2008

  • clettering -- yes! and what was the vine?

    December 23, 2008

  • Lee Valley has a nice one available here.

    December 23, 2008

  • Maaa! Sammy's been spurtling in the koumiss again!

    I imagine this to be something akin to the clettering tool so beloved by Adam Lambsbreath down on the farm.

    December 23, 2008

  • Also "spirtle". Akin to a bishkek.

    December 23, 2008

  • "'Oh,' he would add as an afterthought, 'and would you chust fill up my bottle for me.' The wifie duly filled the old black glass bottle (six to the gallon) with whisky, totted it all up and announced the modest total. 'Ach,' he complained, 'I haven't that much money on me. I can manage if you chust take back the whisky' - which was duly poured back into the keg. At home, he upended bottle, and using his porridge spurtle, he squeezed out the sponge he had inserted earlier and retrieved a couple of satisfying drams. If ever a man deserved a nickname, it was surely 'The Sponger'!"

    - 'The Name Game', P.A. MacNab in The Scots Magazine, Dec 2001.

    January 12, 2008

  • a porridge stirring utensil.

    June 6, 2007