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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
a pointed instrument for piercing small holes, as in leather or wood; used by shoemakers, saddlers, cabinetmakers, etc. The blade is differently shaped and pointed for different uses, as in the brad awl, saddlers awl, shoemakers awl, etc.
Origin: oe. Aul, awel, al, as. L, awel; akin to Icel. Alr, OHG. Ala, g. Ahle, lith. Yla, Skr. Ara.