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kevel, cavel, cavil

1. A stone mason’s axe with a flat face for knocking off projecting angular points, and a pointed peen for reducing a surface to the desired form; also called a jedding axe.
2. A heavy timber, as a timber bolted between two stanchions.
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It's also no secret that the fiercest of these cavillers come from sections of the Scottish press media who have in the past been given short shrift, often publicly, by the man from Kilrea.
30) In referring to Huntington as a "confidence-man," I am calling attention to Herman Melville's proleptic satire of modern American (humanist) optimism, a blind optimism that, like Huntington's, derives from perceiving the differential being of being meta-ta-physika (from after or above the temporal world): "In short," Melville says ironically, paraphrasing the words of one of the many avatars of the American confidence-man, "with all sorts of cavillers, it was best, both for them and everybody, that whoever had the true light should stick behind the secure Malakoff of confidence [the reference is to an 'impregnable' fort defended by the Russians in the Crimean War that fell to the French in 1855], nor to be tempted forth to hazardous skirmishes on the open ground of reason.
I answered[,] Mr Bowle is master to determine at last; we mean as his friends to defend him from Cavillers or Criticks when it is made publick, & some, nay often, times a cool reader is more aware, than the writer can be, especially a head so fraught with abundant various matter as that of our friend Mr Bowle[.