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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X).

YAULD, adj.1 Also yald; yal(l) (Kcb. 1890 A. J. Armstrong Ingleside Musings 140, 165), yaal, yaul, yawl (m.Lth. 1786 G. Robertson Har'st Rig (1801) viii.; Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 370), yeaul (Lnk. 1818 A. Fordyce Country Wedding 60); yale. [jɑ:l(d), jǫ:l(d)]

1. Active, sprightly, alert, vigorous, strong, healthy (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Lth., s.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 158; Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 276; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Bwk., wm., sm., s.Sc. 1974). Also adv. with gen. emphatic force, very, ‘mighty'. Compar. ya(u)lder, superl. ya(u)lest, yaldest. Combs. yaul-cuted, fleet of foot, nimble (see Cuit, n.), ya(u)ld-lookin, having the appearance of sprightliness. Hence yawlness, vigour, nimbleness.Ayr. 1787 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 112:
She's a yauld, poutherie Girran for a' that.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 47:
And ilk yaul-cuted heifer round thee playing.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary vii.:
In the youngest and yaldest of my strength.
Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 17:
When he was young, nae yaulder chield Out owre the sod could gae.
Dmf. 1826 H. Duncan Douglas I. xi.:
Ye'll need a' the pith and yawlness o' thae young limbs o' yours.
Bnff. 1856 J. Collie Poems 122:
Ye wou'dna look, my sturdy loun, Sae yauld an' stout.
Lth. 1885 J. Strathesk More Bits 161:
He was a strappin', buirdly yald-looking young fellow.
Lnk. 1893 T. Stewart Among the Miners 76:
The yaulest miner 'mang the lot At ance begins ascending.
Ayr. 1912 Scotsman (19 Jan.):
A common word in South Ayrshire when I was a boy was “yaal”. One would say a “yaal chiel,” meaning a strong man; or, in reply to how one's health stood, you were “yaal weel” or “yaal ill,” as the case might be.
Rxb. 1921 Kelso Chronicle (12 Aug.) 2:
Moss, a big, yauld-looking dog.
Lnk. 1951 G. Rae Howe o' Braefoot 133:
I'm no sae yaul as I yince was.

2. Sharp, keen, frosty, of weather; also used fig.Ayr. 1808 Jam.:
A yawl nicht, when there is a snell frosty air.
Ags. 1894 A. Reid Sangs 57:
Noo sets my sun in fears O' poortith stern an' yauld.

[Orig. unknown.]

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"Yauld adj.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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