Why do people heckle? (30 Sep 2005)
Originally, a heckler was someone in the textile trade who combed out flax or hemp fibres. Its more common meaning began in the early 19th Century when the radical and unionised hecklers working in Dundee used to interrupt the colleague responsible for reading out the day's news.
Hence the word became associated with firing off questions aimed to tease or comb out truths that the speaker might wish to conceal or avoid.
Article URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4296784.stm
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