Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

AVAL(D), Avil, Avel, Aival, Aaval, Yaval, Yavel(l), Yavil, adj.1, n.1. See Awal(d) adj[′ɑ:vəl(d) Sc.; ′ɑ:vɑl Ork. + ′ɑ:vəl; ′ɑ:vɪl Gall., w.Dmf. + ′ɑ:vəl; ′jɑ:vəl mn.Sc. + ′jɑ:vɪl; ′e:vəl Deeside, Donside; ə′nɛvəl Cai.]

1. adj. Used generally in the pred., less frequently before a noun. Lying on the back, helpless, prostrate, spoken of sheep and other animals. Extended also to persons and objects.Abd.(D) c.1750 R. Forbes Jnl. from London (1767) 11:
They may come to lay up my mittens, an' ding me yavil. [“Lay me flat,” Key, 1767.]
Donside 1932 (per Abd.20):
To lie or fa' avil.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 34–35:
Tho' they croak owre us, as owre avald sheep.
Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 190:
A min' yin o' them . . . yt could maist 'a taen a Kyloe bill by the horns, an laid it aval.
Kcb. 1895 S. R. Crockett Bog-Myrtle 280:
To assure himself . . . that there were no stragglers lying frozen . . . or turned avel in the lirks of the knowes.
w.Dmf. 1899 J. Shaw A Country Schoolmaster 343:
A sheep lying on its back and unable to right itself was said to have “fa'en avil.” I believe it was applied to men lying supine when intoxicated, and even a man dying lying on his back was sad to “die avil.”

2. n. in adv.phrs. In, and I' aval, apae aval, a nevval = on aival. See Nevval. (In nevval the n of on is attracted to the stressed syll. of aival.)Ork. 1880 Paety Toral in Ellis E.E.P. V. 795:
An dan she turnd her roond aboot Whaar he in aaval lay. (Transliterated.)
Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 40:
Andro lyan' i' aval like a t'ing half deid.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
A supine position, used specif. of an animal lying on its back — e.g. “The yowe's geen apae aval”; thence in a transferred sense of anything that has gone wrong or of any thing or person in a position from which it is not easy to rise.
Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 64:
To fa a nevval is to roll over without the power of getting up again. Applied to a sheep and then to an intoxicated person.

3. Comb.: Aval-thrawn.Gall. c.1870 J. Matthewson in Bards of Gall. ed. Harper (1889) 1:
An' may her sons owre a' the yirth, Aye grace the auld place o' their birth, An' ne'er be aval-thrawn by dearth.

[Prob. from O.N. af + velta, to roll, but see Awald.2]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Aval adj.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: