tr.v. heck·led, heck·ling, heck·les
1. To try to embarrass and annoy (someone speaking or performing in public) by questions, gibes, or objections; badger.
[Middle English hekelen, to comb with a hatchel, from hekel, hatchel, from Middle Dutch; see keg- in Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
heck•le (ˈhɛk əl)
v.t. -led, -ling.
heckle – First a “flax comb” for splitting and straightening the fibers for spinning; its metaphorical sense developed from its verb form, “to mangle by cutting, to cut roughly.”