Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
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GAVEL, n.1 Also gavil(l), ga(i)vle, gaivel; gaevel, -il, gevel (I.Sc.), geevil (Cai.7), -le, †gavell, †gaval, †gavile, †gevil, †gyvel, givyle (Wgt. 1713 Session Bk. Sorbie MS. (7 Aug.); also, esp. in ne.Sc., ga'el, ga'le, gell, gyle, geyl, ¶gehl, †gailt, ¶giyl (w.Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 348). See P.L.D. § 70.1. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. gable. [Sc. ′gevəl, but Ork. + gjevl, ne. and sn.Sc. + gel, gɛl, Cai. + ′givəl, ‡Fif., Dmf., Gall. + gəil; Rs. ′gəivəl]
1. (1) As in Eng., the triangular upper part of the end-wall of a building; the end-wall itself. Gen.Sc. Freq. used attrib. Also in n.Eng. dial.Abd. 1739 in Caled. Mag. (1788) 500:
And o'er fell he, maist like to greet, Just at the westmost gaill O' th' Kirk that day.Ork. 1766 P. Fea MS. Diary (29 Oct.):
Loading Clay for the Gavels of the House.Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 292:
I saw the deil i' the shape o' the auld laird . . . standin' on the gavel wa' wi' a great burnin' kipple in his hand.Sc. 1827 W. Motherwell Minstrelsy (1873) Intro. lxiii.:
My meikle tae is my gavil post, My nose is my roof-tree.Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption xi.:
Rubble wark is what they use for gavles.Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin vii.:
My mither had agreed wi' him to place the cruzie in the gavel winnock to guide him through the mire. [Ib. xxvii., geyl.]Ags. 1892 Brechin Advertiser (7 June) 3:
They kent fu' weel that he cud pu' The ga'el out o' their kirk.Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 346:
Mr Gibson wus preachin at the roadside again a hoose geyl. [Ib. 464, gyle.]Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr Aapril 25:
Da pör man's draain-room is at da gaevel o da hoose.Bnff. 1933 M. Symon Deveron Days 35:
An' throu' the wee gell winnock aye Fu' bonnie mornin' broke.Lnk. 1991 Duncan Glen Selected Poems 66:
I hear shilly wund on gavel-winnock
and thocht beil in my heid. Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 29:
An faar's wir fisher toon? Ae lum, ae gaivel
Blinterin throwe blae watter an smore drift. ne.Sc. 1996 W. Gordon McPherson in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of winning poems and stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 20:
" ... Fin Aa leuk oot at the front fit div Aa see? Hills! Fin Aa leuk oot at the gale, fit?-mair hills; an at the idder gale?--hills again! An fit div ye think Aa see fae the back?
(2) One of the side ropes of a herring net (Ork. 1929 Marw.; ne.Sc., Fif. 1954). Cf. 3. (3) below.Abd. 1951 Buchan Observer (11 Dec.):
The wife's sittin' mennin' wi' Mary oor quine, . . . A net that's gey picky an' greedy for twine An' they're nae gettin' nearer the gaivle ava.
(3) One of the ends of a rectangular corn-stack (Uls.4 1954).
2. Fig. uses: (1) the buttocks (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 58, gaivle; Bnff.7 1927); (2) the pudendum (Sc. 18th c. Merry Muses (1911) 55, 94; Ayr. 1786 Burns Ib. 132).
3. Phr. & Combs.: (1) gavel-en(d), (a) the end-wall of a building, the gable-end. Gen.Sc.; (b) = 2. (1) above (Gregor); (2) ¶gavelfork, adv., with a gable; †(3) ga'le-room, a room in the gable of a house; (4) gehl-rope, “the rope that runs along the [side] ends of a herring-net”(Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 61); cf. 1. (2) above; (5) to be like the gavel(-end) o' a hoose, to be of very stout and broad proportions (Abd.27, Kcb.10 1954, -end).(1) (a) Abd. 1766 Abd. Journal (28 July):
On Thursday afternoon, the gavel end of a house in the Gallowgate, adjoining to which a house was building, gave way and fell down.Edb. 1795 H. Macneill Scotland's Scaith 12:
Up the gavel end thick spreading Crap the clasping ivy green.Lnk. 1873 J. Hamilton Poems & Ballads 64:
Ae nicht, when stan'in at the door, I saw him comin' roun' The gavel-en'.Fif. 1893 G. Setoun Barncraig i.:
There was a seat set on logs against the “geevle-en'” of Eben Reid's house.Ags. 1896 Barrie Margaret Ogilvy ii.:
I cannot picture the place without seeing her, as a little girl, come to the door of a certain house and beat her bass against the gav'le-end.Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 36:
Whisht! here comes a fit roun' the gale-en'.(2) Bnff. 1770 V. Gaffney Lordship Strathavon (S.C.) 25:
The "lairachs" of many sheals in Kirkmichael show them to have been stone-built, "gavelfork", couple and pans of wood being required in the construction of the roof.(3) Abd. 1868 G. Macdonald R. Falconer x.:
They did not even look into the ga'le-room, not doubting that the dignity of the best bedroom was in no danger of being violated even by Robert.(5) Abd.27 1920:
What a size that deem's growin'; she's like the gale o' a hoose.
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