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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

WASTEL, n. Also wastell, wastle; wostle (Mry. 1980s); wesstell; wassel, wassell (Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xvi.). A kind of bread, scone or cake baked with the finest flour (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 207, wassel). Obs. exc. hist. in Eng. Also attrib.; now chiefly in Mry., a large wholemeal scone made of both oatmeal and whole flour (Mry. 1825 Jam., wastell, Mry. 1973); nonce erron. = festive fare, prob. by confusion with wassail (Slg. 1825 W. Hone Every-day Book II. 20, wassel). [wɑsl]Sc. 1746 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) II. 169:
To short bread, on caike and 2 Wesstells, . . . 4s 6d.
Mry. 1836 J. Grant Penny Wedding 31:
Buckie haddocks (a very fine salt fish), and wastles (a substantial cake), composed of half flour and half oatmeal.
Mry. 1931 J. Geddie Characters 161:
To bake “floury scones,” or, from the second or third flour, turn out such dainties as “wastles” at Christmas time.
Mry. 1947 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 344:
That most delightful of scones, the “Findhorn wastel.”

[O.Sc. wastell, id., a.1400, Mid.Eng. wastel, O. North. Fr. wastel, O. Cent. Fr. guastel, Mod.Fr. gâteau, a cake.]

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"Wastel n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Nov 2023 <>



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