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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Navil(l, n.1 Also: naw- and -yl(l, -el(l, -eill; nevill. [ME. and e.m.E. navel(l, -il(l, etc., OE. nafela, ON. nafle.]

1. The navel or umbilicus.Also attrib. with cloath (sc. for binding the navel). c1420 Wynt. v. 3593.
At the nawyll [W. navill] it was a mas
1513 Doug. xii. v. 134.
The wovyn gyrdill … abufe his navill was beltit
1570 Sat. P. x. 18.
Schot throw pudding and panche Abone the nauil and out abone the hanche
c1615 Chron. Kings 122.
He is schott with ane boillatt of leid ane littill benethe the naweill
attrib. 1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII. 360.
A holland bib … 2 holland navell cloaths

b. transf. The centre or central point of anything. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 162/15.
Vther swelchis … are in the occeane as is the west cleif of Litill Brettane and it is callit the litill navill of the see
1665 Lauder Jrnl. 76.
My host in one noock, madame in the other and I in the mides in the navel of the fire

2. The umbilical cord. 1588 St. A. Kirk S. 617.
Being inquirit … quha cuttit the barnis nevill

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"Navil n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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