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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

STEEL, n.2 Also steele, stiel. A steep bank, esp. a spur of a hill-ridge. Freq. in Border place-names, e.g. Ashiestiel (Slk.), Steele Road (Rxb.), Stielhead (Dmf.). [stil]Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
Steel. A wooded cleugh or precipice; but applied to one of greater extent than “slain”; the lower part of a ridge projecting from a hill where the ground declines on each side [in Liddesdale]. It is generally understood as including the idea of the remains of old shealings.
Bwk. 1885 Hist. Bwk. Nat. Club XI. 77:
There are five ravines subsidiary to the main Stonecleugh running between it and the Lammermoor ridge, and sub-dividing into spaces more or less extensive the intervening high slopes; some of the intervals being elevated spurs called Steels.

[From O.E. uninflected stīȝel, the inflected forms of which have given Eng. stile, lit. a place for climbing over.]

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"Steel n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2023 <>



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