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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Quar(r)el(l, Quer(r)el(l, n.2 Also: quar(r)-, querral(l, -ale, qwarell, -ele, qwarrall, qwerrell, quairill; also Correll. [Late north. and north midl. ME and north. and north midl. e.m.E. qwaryle (15th c.), qvarelle (Cath. Angl.), quarrel (1500–18), querelle (Cath. Angl.), and in the mod. dial. Sc. and north. Eng.; a north. form corresp. to ME quar(r)ere (14th c.), OF quarriere (12th c.), med. L. quarraria, quar(r)er(i)a, querrera, quadraria, f. quadrare to square (stones).]The distinction between the (a) and (b) forms no doubt often depends on arbitrary editorial decisions as to the expansion of the MS abbreviation for -ar, -er.

1. A quarry, an excavation from which building-stone or the like is won.(a) 1385 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 352.
De terris de Achinsogill … cum Le Quarrell
1408 Ib. 377.
Terras de Ovir Pettouly, [etc.] … , le Quaral
1438 Ayr B. Ct. 4 May.
Nicol Gray viii rudis at the quarrel
1491 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 62. 1497 Treas. Acc. I 361.
To the quareouris of the est quarel for schort tailȝee, xiij s. iiij d.
1513 Ib. IV 524.
To the quareour that brak the quarell iiij dais, v s. iiij d.
1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 19; etc.
To v werkmen … reddand the quarrell Salisberry for walstane
1538–9 Ib. 251.
Ledand fre stane fra the heich quarrellis in the Lowmond to the hill fut
1546–7 Reg. Great S. 18/1.
Lapicidium lie stane quarrell
1574–5 Haddington Treas. Acc. 21.
To Rowchlaw quarrall to speik for ane myll stane
1598 Acts IV 176/1.
Pompis for raising … of wateris … furth of mynes, coilheuchis, quarrellis, dround groundis
1641 Ib. V 452/1.
In the lyme quarrells … of Paistoun
1646 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII 95. 1648 Glasgow B. Rec. II 128.
For casting of ane water syour for drying of the Blak Quarrell
1655 Glasg. Univ. Mun. III 494.
66 peice of asshler of the towne quarrell
1656 Glasgow B. Rec. II 335.
Thos qwho sighted the qwarrall
1663 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 178. 1667 Retours I Inq. Spec. Forfar (425).
Et lapicidina lie quarrell
1681 Irvine Mun. II 298.
1697 Cramond Kirk S. IV 17 Oct.
At the backe of thair house in the how of the quarrel
1699 Foulis Acc. Bk. 256.
For lookeing the sklait quarrell
(b) 1498 Acta Conc. II 183.
And of halding of ane querell apone the commone
1508 Exch. R. XIII 4. 1511–12 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 136.
The said Robert to convoy and reull the said qwerrell
1513 Doug. i vii 22. 1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 83.
In the querrell of Nudry
1533 Boece 199.
To lauboure at myneris and metellis, or wyn stanys in querell
1546 Treas. Acc. VIII 454. 1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II 193.
Except the querrell be xx futtis fra ane passage
1583 Mining Rec. 19.
And gif thair be ony querrell of staine or lyme necessar for bigging of the saidis houssis
1584 Prestwick B. Rec. 30. ?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 70.
All full of frie stanes and gude querrellis
1610 Peterkin Orkney & Zetl. App. 80. 1616 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 3.
From the new frie querrell be vest Sanct Cuthbertis Kirk
1681 Brodie Diary 462.
(c) 1658–1700 Greyfriars Interments 384.
In the quairill

2. a. In contexts expressing the right of working a quarry or of taking stone etc. from a quarry. b. Stone or other material won from a quarry.In coll. sing. and pl. form.(1) sing. 1296 Reg. Episc. Glasg. I 214.]
[Et de quarello fodiendo et abducendo
1428 Wemyss Chart. 55.
To wyn … turfe, pete, and hathir, quarale, and fyschyne … wythin the said landis
1432 Ayr B. Ct. 16 June.
That na man suld be seruit of qwarell qwil the commons be fyrst serwet
1440 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. 10.
The forsaid landis … with wod and quarale and ryghtwis pertenents
1461 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 362.
Ande with wodis parkis schawys qvarell lymstane bromis [etc.]
1500 Acta Conc. II 416.
In the wynnyng of quarell and stane to the kingis hienes within the flude merk
1572–3 Canongate Ct. Bk. 441.
It suld be leissum … to brek the ground of the saidis landis for wynning of quarrell
1615 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 361.
To Johne Wat maisone that tuke panis in letting us sie quhair the quarrell wes to be had
1621 Laing Chart. 450. 1627 Rep. Parishes 67.
The quhilk rowme of Fala hes the commodetie of lyme quarrell in the ground
1671 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. II 535.(b) 1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 236.
Besyde infinitt pepill that war condampnit to the galeis, wynnyng of querrell and myndis
1600 Conv. Burghs II 85. 1603 Ib. 168. 1614 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 113.(2) pl. 1531 Bell. Boece I 251.
He thirllit thaim … to win mettellis, querrellis, and to mak tild
1533 Reg. Privy S. II 213/1.
With … coillis, treis, quarellis, stanis and lyme
1537 Liber Dryburgh 283. 1572 Ayr & Gall. Coll. V 178. 1625 Burnett Fam. P. 228. 1654 Hawick Arch. Soc. (1937) 37.
Broomes woodes forrests bushes and schaws of woodes quarrells stane and lyme
1658 Oliphants 243.
Busches schawes tymber quarrellis stean and lyme

c. ? Builder's refuse. 1605 Tailor's Acc. Bk. 34.
Payit for redding of the buith of quarrell & outbeiring the same, xxviij s.

3. Attrib. a. With topographical terms: At, by, or in, a quarry. b. Of implements: For use in a quarry. c. Pertaining to, or coming from, a quarry.Also Quarrell-coall, -heuch, -hole, -mell, -pik, -pit.a. 1272 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 30.]
[Et sic descendendo … usque ad riuulum quarellj nomine Sulhok
1337 Rot. Sc. 492/1.
In Quarelgate
1369 Reg. Episc. Morav. 169.
Multura terrarum de Quarelwode
1496 Acta Conc. II 24.
Wilȝeame Suthirland of the Querrellwod [? in S. Caithness]
1540–1 Reg. Privy S. II 583/2.
Novem acris … de le Lidgait de Querrelwod … jacen. infra … vic. de Elgin et Fores
1563 Ib. V i 392/1.
Lapicidio de Quarrelwod
1602 Elgin Rec. II 100.
Luiking for hir gudmanes returning out of the quarrell woid
c1550–60 Black Friars Edinb. 72.
With ane pairt of the querrell yaird
b. 1698 Foulis Acc. Bk. 229 (see Quar(r)el(l)-mell n.).
Quarrell graith
1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 113.
For scharping and laying of the querrell lumis and weggis
1535–6 Ib. 184, etc. 1530 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 37.
For ii stanis … irne werk in fre quarrell wagis [etc.]
1532 Ib. 90.
Querrell veggis
1617 Ib. II 24.
For rowing four quarrell waiges
1658 Misc. Hist. Soc. VII 30.
A rixe dollore in parte payment of two quarrell wages
c. 1510 Dysart Rec. 2.
Querell stains lows and fast
1513 Doug. viii iv 149.
All kynd wapynnys … With branchis rent of treis and querral stanys [L. molaribus] Of huge weght dovn warpand all at anys
1654 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I 324.
Bushes and shawes of woods quarrellstane and lyme

d. Attrib. and comb., in sense 2 a, in quarrel-leif, -fre, -rowm.(1) 1434 Reg. St. A. 424.
Waltyr has grauntit … his maisteris qwarele leif in the huch of Kynkell that is to say to brek stanys and away leid
1554–5 Edinb. Old Acc. I 160.
Gevin to the laird of Carnebe, for querrell leif, ane eln of blak velvat
(2) 1554 Glasgow Chart. II App. 513.
Archinbalde salbe wod fre and querell fre to the bigging … of the saidis mylne
(3) 1659 Dumfries Council Min. 18 April.
Reserving to the toun quarrell rowme and ane slaid gait for staines

4. Possess. = 3 c. 1592 Mining Rec. 33.
Pionaris and warkmen to delwe and karye the scrwiff and quarrellis red being alway at his plesour

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"Quarel n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Dec 2023 <>



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