- a thin piece of wood, slate, metal, asbestos, or the like, usually oblong, laid in overlapping rows to cover the roofs and walls of buildings.
- a woman’s close-cropped haircut.
- Informal. a small signboard, especially as hung before a doctor’s or lawyer’s office.
verb (used with object), shin·gled, shin·gling.
- to cover with shingles, as a roof.
- to cut (hair) close to the head.
- hang out one’s shingle, Informal. to establish a professional practice, especially in law or medicine; open an office.
- have/be a shingle short, Australian Slang. to be mentally disturbed, mad, or eccentric.
- a thin rectangular tile, esp one made of wood, that is laid with others in overlapping rows to cover a roof or a wall
- a woman’s short-cropped hairstyle
- US and Canadian a small signboard or nameplate fixed outside the office of a doctor, lawyer, etc
- a shingle short Australian informal unintelligent or mentally subnormal
- to cover (a roof or a wall) with shingles
- to cut (the hair) in a short-cropped style
- coarse gravel, esp the pebbles found on beaches
- a place or area strewn with shingle
- (tr) metallurgy to hammer or squeeze the slag out of (iron) after puddling in the production of wrought iron
“thin piece of wood,” c.1200, scincle, from Late Latin scindula (also the source of German Schindel), altered (by influence of Greek schidax “lath” or schindalmos “splinter”) from Latin scandula “roof tile,” from scindere “to cleave, split,” from PIE root *sked- “to split.” Meaning “small signboard” is first attested 1842. Sense of “woman’s short haircut” is from 1924; the verb meaning “to cut the hair so as to give the impression of overlapping shingles” is from 1857.
“loose stones on a seashore,” 1510s, probably related to Norwegian singl “small stones,” or North Frisian singel “gravel,” both said to be echoic of the sound of water running over pebbles.
“cover with shingles” (of houses), 1560s, from shingle (n.). Related: Shingled; shingling.
Open an office, especially a professional practice, as in Bill’s renting that office and hanging out his shingle next month. This American colloquialism dates from the first half of the 1800s, when at first lawyers, and later also doctors and business concerns, used shingles for signboards.
see hang out one’s shingle.