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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Rial(l, adj. (adv.) and n.1 Also: riale, ryall(e, ryal(e; ryell; riole, riol(l, ryoll; riaul; ryle; rayelle. [ME and obs. e.m.E. ryall noun (c1350), rial(e, also adv. (a1400–50), OF rial (OED), var. of reale Reall adj.1 or roial Royal(l adj. and n.]Freq. in post-positional use, esp. in common collocations.

A. adj.There is a possibility of ambiguity, not only between certain of the senses, but also between the two main sense-groups.

I. Pertaining to a king or sovereign.

1. Of a person: Having the rank of a king or queen; belonging to a royal family.Also, transf., applied to God, the Virgin or Juno.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxx 760.
Men [hir] honouryt as scho had bene A ful gret & a ryale queyne
c1460 Regim. Princ. 15 (Marchm.).
Thou riol king
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 301.
The roy rial raid withoutin resting
c1475 Wall. viii 1619.
A ryoll king, … Bathe humyll, leyll, … and woid off cowatis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 103/6.
Queyne of Scottis regioun; … Our roys riale
1513 Doug. i iv 65.
Acestes, his ryall host
Ib. xiii vii 83.
Maist riall kyng
(b) 1545 Douglas Corr. 156.
The grete … gentilnes schouit be so rayelle ane prence to so poure ane man
Ib. 157.
The blisset Lord … presarve ȝour moste rayelle mageste
(2) a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 2.
Haill, riall king, in trone celistiall
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 5/8.
Helpe, rialest rosyne
1513 Doug. xiii xi 60.
Ryall Juno
1529 Lynd. Complaynt 498.
God, that ryall roye

b. Of a person in the royal entourage: In attendance on or in the service of a sovereign. c1400 Troy-bk. i 323.
And with a ryall companye Of dukis and erles … He mete thame
c1420 Wynt. viii 6510.
He assemblyd in hy His gret ryalle chewalry
1456 Hay I 126/31.
The autoritee of the grete officer ryale slokis as than … the autoritee of the smallare officer
Ib. II 153/15.
Gif thou will prove thy baille or thyne officer ryale [etc.]
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1252.
Thai war arait ful raith that ryale cumpany, Of lordis and ladis, lufsum to lere

c. ? Created (earl) by the sovereign himself. a1500 Colk. Sow ii 117.
The king eftir maid him erle ryall

2. Of descent or lineage: Connected with, or stemming from, a king or royal line. a1400 Leg. S. ii 1039.
The Jowis … sad: ‘We ar of ryall kyne’
1456 Hay I 253/13.
He was … of the blude ryall of Fraunce
a1500 Bk. Chess 544.
Lucricia was … Borne of Rome & of the riall blude
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 145/151.
To the ros scho … said, ‘O lusty dochtir … Fro the stok ryell rysing’
1513 Doug. i v 70.
For he in Ilion was of the blude ryale
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece I 218.
Discending be lang progressioun of the blude riall thairof
1549 Lamb Resonyng 35/1.
Pairt of fruit of that ȝour nobill stok, and also of the riale branchis, I haue rehersit

3. Of the office or condition of kingship, or the powers or qualities associated with it: Properly pertaining to a sovereign.(1) a1500 Henr. Deth & Man 5.
Thocht thai be in thair ryell estait & hicht
1479 Acts II 128/1.
Our souuerane lord … sitting in his estaite riale
1484 Oliphants xxxiv.
The kynge, beyng in his gret chambre, undyr his clothe of ryall estate
1494 Loutfut MS 1b.
In all solempnit festis and othir dais quhar the king haldis his state riall
c1526 Misc. Spald. C. II lxxvii.
As it sall pleis the kingis grace to treit apoun his mariage according to his estate riale
1540 Acts II 360/2. 1549 Lamb Resonyng 41/11.
Swa ȝe do transforme ȝour estait ryale als oft as Protheus did change formis
(2) 14.. Acts I 11/2.
The kyng biddis that [etc.] … undir his riole pouste
1456 Hay I 209/13.
And takis to thame bathe jurisdiccioun ryale and imperiale
1464–5 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 60.
Thare eftir we gife sesine be state ryal to the said William of Douglas of the said landis
1488 Acts II 210/1.
The kingis … riale autorite
1496–7 Acta Conc. II 69.
Our soverane lordis autorite ryale
1555 Douglas Corr. 23.
Of our full quenlie power absolute and auctorite riall
1568 Reg. Privy S. VI 60/2.
Our said soverane lordis auctoritie ryall
(3) ?1438 Alex. ii 2523.
And to the ryell maieste
1456 Hay I 293/34.
That the first birth ay succedis to the ryall dignitee
Ib. II 99/8.
Gyf it war done aganis the magestee ryale in fellouny …, it sulde be punyst to the dede
1493 Crim. Trials I i 14.
Agane our majeste riall
1533 Bell. Livy I 106/26.
The pepill thoucht to haue deprivit him fra his sete and dignite riall
(4) 1549 Lamb Resonyng 29/14.
Did nocht Kyng Henry the Aucht preserue … the tendir age of … James the Fyft, and conducit him sauflie to the riale possessioun of Scotland?
Ib. 31/25.
Call ȝe conducing to riale possessioun for to mantene and defend … nobillis fugitivis of Scotland

b. Of statutes, etc.: Issued or approved by the king. 1494 Loutfut MS 1a.
Knawand the ald dedis ordinantis & statutis riaulis
a1568 Bann. MS I p. 3/15.
Be quhais pece and riall ordinance The furious Mars was blawin to the horne

4. Of the symbols or appurtenances of kingship: Pertaining to the rank, office or external appearance of a king.Also applied to offices in the royal service.(1) c1400 Troy-bk. i 70.
Leamedone, that hyast king And lord of mony ryall thing
1488 Treas. Acc. I 85.
The surples of the robe riall
1505 Ib. III 41.
For … ermyngis to the kingis rob riall
1513 Doug. i xii 4.
Prince Eneas … Into hys sege ryall quhar he sat
Ib. xiii vi 124.
Thou … worthiar To bair the riall ceptyr
1533 Bell. Livy I 291/5.
xij seriandis armit with axis, wandis, and vther ornamentis riall
1560 Rolland Seven S. 601.
The riche ryall robbis
a1568 Bann. MS 315a/84.
A wild lyoun In rob riale with ceptur [etc.]
(2) 1494 Loutfut MS 5a.
Than war maid the rial offices til wnderstand & govern al thingis pertenyng to the craft of armes

5. Of a place: Lived in by, or intended specifically for the use of, a king or queen. Also in fig. context.(1) 1461 Liber Plusc. 387.
Born and vpbrocht … In hous ryalle
a1500 Henr. Fab. 107 (Makc.).
Quhar suld thow duel bot in a ryal towr
c1475 Wall. viii 1013.
A ryoll sted fast by a forest sid
Ib. ix 1216.
In till Lochlewyn quhilk is a ryoll hald
1490 Irland Mir. I 123/11.
Befor me in my court riall of paradis
a1500 Colk. Sow Prol. 7.
And squieris … assemblit and sett in a ryell se
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 259.
Thi ryal hame
Ib. xii Prol. 35.
Furth of hys palyce ryall ischit Phebus
a1578 Pitsc. I 61/4.
The same ȝeir the ryall wallis of Dumfermling war cassin doune
(2) 1500 Acta Conc. II 452.
Dene of the Chapell Riale
1504 Exch. R. XII 232 n.
The clerkis of oure chapell riall
1525 Comm. Univ. III (St. A.) App. 180.
Ovr chapell rial of Striveling
1565–6 Reg. Privy S. V ii 15/2. 1611 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 338.
The Schaipell Ryell
(b) 1535 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 441.
The kingis chapell ryle
fig. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 6/77.
Hospitall riall, the lord of all Thy [sc. Mary's] closet did include

6. Of a kingdom: ? Ruled by a king.But perh. in sense 9 below. c1420 Wynt. vii 2118. 1513 Doug. ii iv 75.
Thus this [Philipe] fylyd the fame Off ryale Frawns
a1568 Bann. MS 86b/78.
Caus vertew rewll thi ryall regioun

7. Of, belonging or pertaining to a sovereign or other royal personages in general; (of events, possessions, etc.) described as royal due to association with a king, etc.(1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2349.
His son … maid a ryall brydale sone
?1438 Alex. i 524.
Thy gret riches and ryall weidis … Thow geuis frely
c1420 Wynt. vii 2797.
A ryalle Yhule thare held the kyng
Ib. viii 6520.
Wyth his ryalle powere he Till Edynburch tuk on the way
1490 Irland Mir. I 12/35.
Quhethire thi manere of lyfing in thi state riall plesis to God
1492 Myll Spect. 281/20.
Lat thire ryall examplis … be a myrrour vnto thé
c1515 Asl. MS I 323/7.
Baltaser … at his feist riall saw ane hand writtin on the wall
a1500 Bk. Chess 32.
And vther sum … Gois to the riall sporting of the ches
c1500 Fyve Bestes 343.
And brek ȝour word befor this riall rowte
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1444.
Sat thai [sc. Jesus and Mary] doun, Off hevinly talk makand a riall pace
1513 Doug. v xi 100.
That scho alane suld want this ryal syght
Ib. xiii vi 44.
Thar … sport ryall tobe
(2) 1513 Doug. vii i 110.
Hir ryal tressis inflambit

II. Kinglike; pre-eminent.

8. Of a person: Possessing qualities appropriate to a king; of high worth; noble. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 72.
The renk raikit in the saill, riale and gent
Ib. 402.
He is the riallest roy … Thare is na leid on life of lordschip hym like
a1500 Henr. Orph. 12. a1500 Colk. Sow Prol. 1.
Quhen riallest most redowttit and he Magnificat crownit kingis in maiesté … Ar assemblit
a1497, 15.. Gray MS vi 31.
The rioll rynkis ar all in weyr
1535 Stewart 42680.
With mony rynk that ryall wes and ryke
a1568 Bann. MS 28b/20.
Hale Jesu virgyn, … ros ryellest

b. Said of an animal. c1500 Fyve Bestes 57, 58.
Quhen this riall hors his tale had endit, This ryall hart richt gentilly it commendit

9. Splendid; sumptuous; magnificent. 1375 Barb. xiii 30 (C) (see Reall adj.1 e).
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 872.
& til hyme mad a ryale kyrke
?1438 Alex. ii 2725.
The oist of Grece, that riall is
a1500 Rauf C. 109.
Ane ryall rufe het fyre war my desyre
Ib. 478.
He was the ryallest of array, On ronsy micht ryde
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 314.
Ane pailyeoun … With rapis of rede gold riale to see
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 35.
Ane cumlie tabil coverit … With ryalle cowpis
1513 Doug. ix vi 122.
The rial trappouris, and myghty patrellys gay
1533 Bell. Livy I 48/1.
To mak him [sc. the priest] in mare reuerence to the pepill he cled him with riche & riall abilȝementis

b. Of literary style: Elevated. 1513 Doug. ix Prol. 21.
The ryall style clepyt heroycall Full of wirschip and nobilnes our all

10. Of the best quality; excellent; flawless; matchless.The ryall and vertuouse buke, the Bible.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii 1250.
The king that is of rial fame
c1420 Wynt. i 1342 (W).
And ryall halking [R. richt gud hawlkyn] on ryvere
Ib. ii 280 (R).
That maydyn off so ryalle fame
1456 Hay II 132/30.
Thou suld be anoyntit with unguementis ryalis, … the best mycht be gottyn
a1500 Henr. Fab. 875 (Bann.).
A croun … With … riall rubies rold
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 521 (Asl.).
A michty medicyne a riall eike remeid
Ib. 1007.
His meike moder … As riall relyk & thingis mast amyable
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 256.
Chaucere, … Thou beris of makaris the tryumph riall
1513 Doug. ii viii 21.
Mony costly stane, The prowd and ryal werkis of faderis ald
(2) c1420 Wynt. v 907 (W).
As in the ryall and vertuouse buke Ȝe may find writtin
(3) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1362 (Asl.).
Of hevyne sa hie the riall regioun Na tung can tell
c1515 Asl. MS I 305/8.
The gret realme of Egipt, a mast riall regioun
Ib. 308/14.
With citeis as Paris Orleans and vtheris the rialest in erth

b. In simont riall, applied to a device or process employed in purifying gold (see siment), and in cannone ryell to an artefact (cf. 17th c. Eng. canon-royal, 1687). 1505–6 Treas. Acc. III 46.
For … gold … to set on the simont riall
1506 Ib. 280. 1507 Ib. 334 (see Rial(l n.2 b (2)). 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 330.
Thrie houlkis of Ingland, ladunit with ane cannone ryell [etc.]

11. Remarkable, exceptional, notable. 1375 Barb. xii 557 (C).
Men mycht se … mony a riall [E. reale] rymmyll ryde Be roucht
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 682.
Thai mighty men vpon mold ane riale course maid
1567 Sat. P. iii 90.
Quhen Dauie deit, our quene rycht potentlie Into this realme did rais ane ryall rout

B. noun. 12. A king or prince; a member of a royal family. c1420 Wynt. viii 103 (C).
Gif ony malle Off ryalis [R. reaws] mycht fundyn be Werthe til haf that ryolte
Ib. ix 2093.
This ilk Thomas … ryollis [R. reaws, A., E.2 ryallis] til mony ma He cusynge germayn was alssua
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1311.
‘I thank thé …,’ said the ryall
a1500 Rauf C. 14.
As that ryall raid ouir the rude mure

13. A noble. Also, once, pl. without inflection, or collective.Perh. in some way distinguished from other members of the nobility. Cf. 1 c above.(1) c1450-2 Howlat 859 (A).
Than rewit thir riallis of that rath mane
1456 Hay I 31/20.
The princis and prelatis of Fraunce, and the nobleis and rialis
Id. ?1438 Alex. (S.T.S.) 4212.
Than ordand he … On every side ane ryall quhile he suld be Apoun the wall or ony man micht se
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 910.
Twa rynnyng renkis raith the riolyse has tane
(2) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 396.
Before the riale on raw the renk wes noght rasit

C. adv. 14. Regally. 1567 G. Ball. 232.
Princes and kingis that sa ryall ringis

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"Rial adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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