Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DUNIWASSAL, n. Also dunie(-y)-, du(i)nni(e)-, dunna-, d(h)uin(i)e-, duin(e)-, duinhé-, -wasal, -wassel(l), -wastle. Hist.

1. A Highland gentleman; a gentleman of secondary rank, a cadet of a noble family (Arg. c.1915 (per Slg.3)). Sc. c.1715  Jacobite Minstr. (1829) 72:
Alka Dunywastle's coming Little wat ye wha's coming.
Sc. 1800  T. Garnett Tour I. 200:
He was born a Duin-wassal, or gentleman; she a vassal, or commoner of an inferior tribe.
Sc. 1810  Scott Letters (1894) I. 199:
18 Dec.: A single plume distinguished the Dunniewassell or gentleman, when I first remember the Highlands, from the peasant. [Waverley (1817) xvi., duinhé-wassel; Rob Roy (1895) Intro. lxxvi., dhuiniewassell.]
Abd. 1872  J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 17:
The occupant of the principal house . . . was a duine-wasal, of the name of Cattanach. [dhuine-wasal, p. 37.]
Edb. 1720  A. Pennecuik Helicon 82:
But to return to my Tale, the King and his Dunnawassels, Came to see the Scots Gentry, and all his Vassals.
Slk. 1835  Hogg Wars Montrose II. 140:
Seven of the duniwastles (or gentlemen) of the clan were present.

2. A term for the lower class of farmers, gen. contemptuous (Ayr. 1808 Jam.).

[Gael. duin(e)-uasal, a gentleman, from duine, a man, and uasal, noble, well-born.]

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"Duniwassal n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jan 2020 <>



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