A pointed instrument
for piercing little
holes, as in leather
or tree; used by shoemakers, saddlers, cabinetmakers, etc. The blade
is differently shaped and pointed
for various uses, as in the brad awl, saddler's awl, shoemaker's awl, etc.
Origin: OE. Aul, awel, al, AS. L, awel; akin
to Icel. Alr, OHG. Ala, G. Ahle, Lith. Yla, Skr. Ara.
Source: Websters Vocabulary