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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HAIL, adj., n.1, v.1 Also hale, haill, h(a)el; heal(l); heel (I.Sc.); heil(l); †haile; hell; hyill (Rxb.). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. whole. [Sc. he:l; I.Sc. + hi:l; Bwk., Rxb. + hjɛl]

I. adj. 1. Free or recovered from disease, healthy, wholesome. Gen.Sc. Now current in mod. liter. Eng. = robust, vigorous, gen. with reference to old people as in phr. hale and hearty. ¶Used adv. in c.1890 quot. appar. = cheerfully, with unconcern.Ork. 1708 in County Folk-Lore III. 135:
Thou shalt go to the holie kirk, and thou shalt gang it round about, and then sit down upon thy knees, and say thy prayers to the Lord, and then thou shalt be as heall as the hour when Christ was born.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 11:
Well Nory, said he never fash your thumb, Gin I had heal I's gar them a' sing dumb.
Sc. 1818 S.E. Ferrier Marriage xxvi.:
Ye offen see a hale stoot man, like our puir freend, gang like the snuff o' a cannel.
Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 75:
While heal an' weal in flesh an' blood, On's manly shanks, fam'd Robby stood.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xii.:
Even our own land, which all thought hale and healthy, began to show symptoms of the plague-spot.
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 32:
Broken bread maks hale bairns.
Lnl. c.1890 R. Steuart Legends 183:
Oh, Nanny, dinna speak sae hale aboot it.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Verses 49:
I'm hale an' rauckle, thank'e Wull.
Abd. 1922 Abd. Wkly. Free Press (23 Jan.):
Ye ken 'at gin ye fa' ye dinna rise as haill's ye wid 'a' deen a forty year seen.
Ags. 1928 A. Gray Gossip 31:
. . . but I'm hale and bien For ane that's wearin' near his lang rest noo.
wm.Sc. 1986 Robert McLellan in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 22:
Juist till I'm restit. Juist till I can move again. Then I'll mak my way to Invercloy and bide wi Uncle Jock till I'm haill again.

Phrs.: (1) hale an' a(t)-hame, perfectly at home (Abd.27 1925); (2) hail(l) an(d) fere, in perfect health or condition, strong, unbroken (Sc. after 1715 Jacobite Minstr. (1829) 105, 1825 Jam.; Sc.(E) 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms xxv. 21; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Gen.Sc. but now obsol. or liter. See Fere, adj.; (3) to get heal o', to recover from (Ags., Arg. 1956).(1) Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 50:
He's “hale an' a-hame” amang touslin' an' kissin'.
(2) Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 47:
And have it in my Pocket here, Row'd in my Napkin hale and feer.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (1925) 71:
Thinking to tack the tither year To life, and look baith haill an' fier.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Ep. to Davie ii.:
We're fit to win our daily bread, As lang's we're hale and fier.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 14:
While hale and fear, wi' his twa han's He kept the crowdy gawin.
Sc. 1810 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxvi.:
Ou, the best and the warst is just that the tower is standing hail and fear, as safe and as empty as when ye left it.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 67:
Spunky, hale, an' fere, Gleg — he kens his bis'ness.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xx.:
An there's the minister . . . awa to the curlin in winter an' the gowfin in simmer, as hale an' feir as ye like.
Abd. 1918 C. Murray Sough o' War 36:
Is there nae news o' oor lads ava? Are they hale an' fere that are hine awa'?
(3) Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 67:
Tom was got heal of the dreadful wound, whereof many thought he would have died.

2. Of persons, parts of the body, etc.: free from injury, safe, sound, unhurt. Gen.Sc. Also used fig. and adv. Found in n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 18:
A sore Sigh from a heal Heart. A Ridicule upon hypocritical Pretenders to Sorrow.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 123:
Labour in Words, — keep hale your Skins.
m.Lth. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 142:
Our spirits, than, were light an' haill, An' void o' care.
Ayr. 1791 Burns Tam o' Shanter 215–6:
Ae spring brought off her master hale, But left behind her ain grey tail.
Sc. 1827 Scott Two Drovers ii.:
We will be much petter friendships with our panes hale than proken.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 105:
Keep up yer spunk, leddies, ye're hale in lith an' lim'.
Uls. 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings 22:
I hae a guid min' tae thresh ye while there's a hale bane in yer buddy!
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 5:
On till the derkeneen rowed its hap roond deed an dei-in, an garrd the hyill yins devall an take a barley.

3. Of material objects and of time, numbers, etc.: whole, entire, complete; sound, unbroken, undamaged. Gen.Sc. With numerals hail often precedes, as hail fower, twenty, etc. (Abd. 1956). Also used adv. = wholly, completely, extremely (Mry., Abd. 1956). Hence Sh. deriv. haellens, id.Kcd. 1705 Urie Court Bk. (S.H.S.) 114:
The said balzie ordaines ilke tennent . . . to keep the entering smith his smidie with ther heall iron work.
Sc. 1716 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 77:
Wi' Clashes mingled aft wi' Lies, Drave aff the hale Forenoon.
Kcb. 1797 R. Buchanan Poems 299:
Enthusiastic fools, Whase haill religion lies in stools Black for repentance.
Lnk. 1808 W. Watson Poems 93:
I've e'en a dainty packet kist, Hale seven sarks without a brist.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxvi.:
I canna break my word till him, if ye wad gie me the haill barony of Dalkeith, and Lugton into the bargain.
Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 590:
De wirr a hel boats-kru o' Norruk men staandin anonder da stak.
Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 32:
Better ae e'e than hail blind.
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums v.:
He said it was a humorous thing to think o' a hale army lookin' on at twa cocks fechtin'.
Rxb. 1921 Kelso Chron. (30 Dec.) 4:
He read them oot tae the hale school.
Sc. c.1925 R. Thomas Sandie McWhustler's Waddin' 208:
What wey has Mr M'Tavish gotten hale twa hunner a year an' ma man jist gets twal pun' ten ilka fornicht?
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 10:
I haellens toucht Sibbie wis noo geen juist far enouch wi' tryin' my patience.
Abd. 1928 “P. Grey” Making of a King 31:
Here's me gane an' mixed up the hale eggs wi' the crackit anes!
Sh. 1947 New Shetlander No. 1. 10:
I mind mony a time wis gjaan hael days athoot preevin a morsel.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 38:
Ah'm corrupted, Ah'm polluted, ma hale life is a mess.
ne.Sc. 1991 Ken Morrice in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 59:
I wroch and wrastle
wi the hail stramash - hands and heid -
wark my wark for you.
m.Sc. 1991 William Neill in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 51:
Ye've shairly got tae ken whit ye're fechting fur
tae tak the haill Roman Empire on in yer buff.
Per. 1996 Timothy Neat ed. The Summer Walkers: Travelling People and Pearl-Fishers in the Highlands of Scotland 191:
But he loved to sing, he sang at the plough and he sang in the bothy, and Belle tells of how 'to find out the richt words o' the sangs, my faither sat for a hale week, every nicht, ootside the door o' the bothy, ... '
Dundee 1996 Matthew Fitt Pure Radge 9:
till his jyntes crackil
an gits
no even a haill
tae it
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 6:
Happen, my freen, we'll meet agin
Tongues tethered fast
At soun' o' Cheviot's waters
Dirlin the haill sang at the last!
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 18:
'What aren't you sure about? Talk to me, Andrew.'
'The haill idea. It's no the money. It's the idea.'

4. Used between def. art. or posses. pron. and pl. n. = all (the), the whole of the (my, etc.) (n.Sc., Arg., Kcb. 1956). Freq. in legal use.Sc. 1700 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 298:
They approved and hereby approves of the haill heads and contents of the samen.
Mry. 1713 W. Cramond Grant Court Bk. (1897) 21:
The haill tenants . . . to goe to the glen upon Tuesday next 16th instant.
Abd. 1775 Abd. Journal (18 Dec.):
The said Waukmill, with his Work-shop, and hail Dying Utensils.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xxx:
Waverley, escorted by the whole inhabitants of the village who were not bed-ridden.
Sc. 1842 Justiciary Reports (1844) 178:
The haill parties, pannels, witnesses, assizers, and all concerned. . . . The haill fifteen jurors now in the box.
Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 377:
The haill folk in London town Couldna' gather't a'.
Sc. 1955 Scotsman (26 March) 1:
Lord Wheatley, by Interlocutor dated 25th March 1955, appointed the whole Heritors or their Agents to meet.

5. Sole, only.Ags. 1711 MS. Will:
I ordain Agnes M — my spouse my wholl executor.

6. Combs.: (1) whole-bodied cart, a cart with fixed shafts (Bwk. 1869 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 727); (2) hale-fou, extremely drunk; (3) whole-fur, adv., of ploughed land: with the furrows intact, unbroken; (4) hale-heartit, -hearted, with unbroken spirit, undaunted, unmoved, unaffected (Sh., Mry., Abd., Slg., Ayr., Uls. 1956); used adv. in Abd. 1918 quot.; (5) hail-heidit, of persons: unhurt (Sc. 1825 Jam.); of things: whole, entire, complete (Abd. Ib.). Also used adv. (Abd.27 1956) e.g. in phrs. to gang hale-heid (heilheid) erran, to go for one express purpose (Cai. 1940 John o' Groat Jnl. (1 March), Cai. 1956), also contracted form heild eeran (Cai.7 1956), cf. Aince Eeran; to gang hale-heidit for or intae (something), to devote one's sole and undivided attention or energy to (something) (Sh., Abd., Per. 1956); (6) hale-hide, having a whole skin (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); also used adv.; (7) whole meal, an equal measure of meal to that of the corn from which it was ground; (8) haill on, steadily, without pause (M.M.Sc.); (9) hale-oot, -out, complete; in phr. hale-oot drinks, the draining at one draught of the entire contents of a glass, etc. of liquor; cf. clean cap oot s.v. Cap, n., 5. (6); ¶(10) hale pith, used adv. in quot. = with all one's might; (11) hailscart, -skart, without a scratch, scot-free (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Rxb., Uls. 1956); (12) hail-skinnt, having a skin without blemish (Sh., Cai., Abd., em.Sc.(a), Wgt., Uls. 1956); (13) hale-tear, hail teer, adv., at full speed (Abd., Ags., Ayr., Wgt. 1956); hence phr. haill wheel and haill tear, id. (Abd.13 1910); cf. (15); (14) hail wa(i)t(t)er, a very heavy fall of rain, a downpour (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., hyill waiter). Gen.Sc. Also used adv. = torrentially; (15) haill wheel, adv., with full speed and force, full tilt (Ags. 1956); cf. (13).(2) Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 68:
And threatens to cast aff his coat, And bauldly fecht it like a man, As only hale-fou heroes can.
(3)Sc. 1776 Home Gent. Farmer 83:
Ground ploughed too wet rises, as we say, whole-fur.
(4)Ayr. 1836 Galt in Tait's Mag. (Jan.) 33:
Hearing him so hale-hearted, . . . I felt my corruption rise.
Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie 11:
Bronze-browed, ruddy-cheeked, and hale-hearted as I am.
Rnf. 1873 D. Gilmour Pen' Folk 9:
The last link remaining in this country of a brave, hale-hearted band.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Verses 28:
Hale-hearted, stieve o' lim'.
Abd. 1918 C. Murray Sough o' War 19:
Gin he was yonner yarkin' on hale heartit for the Rhine.
(5)Abd. 1880 G. Webster Crim. Officer 35:
So he got 's siller hail heidet; an' mony a gill o' brandy hed I the chance o' refeesin' fae 'im aifter that.
Bch. 1929 per Abd.1:
An that's the history o' them a' hale-heidit.
Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (14 March):
A'll gang hale-heid erran till Wick.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick iii.:
Here's it driftin an' bulletin aye yet, an it been at it withoot stoppin for some seyven ur acht weeks haill-heidit.
(6) Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 28:
Bat he gaed aff hale-hide frae you, For a' your windy voust; Had ither fouk met wi' him there, It had been till his cost.
(7) Bnff. 1812 D. Souter Agric. Bnff. 164:
In our best seasons, what we provincially call whole meal, that is one boll of meal from the boll of oats, is always reckoned a fair produce.
(8) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xliii.:
An' [the hens] 't wud a' been layin' haill on the feck o' the winter.
(9) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 11:
Aften in Maggy's at Hy-jinks, We guzl'd Scuds, Till we cou'd scarce wi hale out Drinks Cast off our Duds.
Per. 1902 E.D.D.:
“Hail oot drinks! come what will empty your glasses.” The chairman at a dinner-party gave out this toast, and on this account became intoxicated and fell a victim to the game of “hail oot drinks.”
(10) Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 57:
The white ane didna need a cheep, He wrought hale pith, like mirth at play.
(11) Rnf. 1805 G. McIndoe Poems 51:
Though ane hale-scart he get awa, It's no for naething.
Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick I. v.:
She wan aff hale scart hersel' bag and baggage.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xviii.:
He was the rogue, yet as proof couldna be fund, Rob aye cam' aff haill scart.
Bwk. 1876 W. Brockie Wooden Sword 8:
If a man canna keep his hede an' hide hailscart, when he has baith his hands lowse, an' a guid braid sword at his belt, he maun be a puir feckless cuif.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 21:
Lord, let us a' aff haill scart at the last if aiblins it be within t'e compass o' Thy power!
(12) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 73:
We canna be our thankfou' it w'ir hail-skinnt, fin we see yon peer thing a' our wee cruels.
(13) Abd. 1923 R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert xvii.:
Allan ran haill-tear tae meet him.
Bch. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 44:
He, wi' a droothy crony, Wad tak' a dram, then aff hale-tear Gae meet the Buchan train.
Abd. 1993:
E wis jist gaan hail teer at forkin e shaves ontill e mull.
(14) Sc. 1742 Atholl MSS.:
So soon as I came amongst the hills the Clouds being broke by there hight, it was whole Water that fell.
Sc. 1820 R. Mudie Glenfergus viii.:
The rain, which fell almost in hale water, as we say, has washed away half the school master's kail-yard.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 34:
Hail water frae the clouds, the rain did pour, An' rais'd a roarin' spaet in half an hour.
Sc. 1852 J. W. Carlyle Letters (Froude 1883) II. 177:
Today it “is pouring hale water.”
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. xiii.:
Peter's prognostication about the “skirpie gin the morn” was correct, for while the worthy couple slept it rained “hale watter.”
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums vii.:
I wouldna wonder but what it was hale watter the morn, for it looks michty like rain.
Sc. 1936 A. Fleming Christina Strang viii.:
Jist rainin' hale watter.
(15) Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 181:
He wud be gey far back ae wye an' anither; only that's i' the naitur o' the bizness in a menner, fan ye gae in haill wheel for dealin' amo' beasts.
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. xii.:
He fell flap into the hert o' the loons an' they carried him aff hale wheel tae the fit o' the brae wi' them.
Abd. 1923 R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert vii.:
In a meenitie he gied haill wheel inta the story aboot Jeannie's oncome in London.

7. Phrs.: ‡(1) all and haill (the), the entire, the whole of (the) (Sc. 1808 Jam.; wm.Sc. 1956); also used adv. Freq. in the formulæ of conveyancing. The form hail has gradually been replaced by Eng. whole since c.1820 (Sc. 1936 Green's Encycl. Styles IV. 217); (2) hale-an-hadden, simple, ordinary; entire, nothing but (Sh. 1956); (3) hale at (the) he(a)rt, in good spirits (Abd., Ags., Fif. 1956); having a good appetite (Abd.4 1932, Abd. 1956). See Hert; (4) to haud hale Eel, see Eel, n.3; (5)to haud it haill, to complete (it), to bring (a company, etc.) up to full strength. (1) Kcd. 1695 W. B. Fraser Laurencekirk (1880) 52:
All and haill the town and lands of Middleton . . . as well sun as shadow half thereof, and the lands and barony of Haulkerton in special warrandice.
Gsw. 1713 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 511:
All and haill the milners service.
Abd. 1759 Session Papers, Forbes v. Forbes (6 March) 45:
All and Haill the Lands, Lordship, Barony, heritable Offices, Patronages, Mills, Towers, Fortalices, Manor-places, Woods, Fishings, and others particularly after mentioned.
Sc. 1852 Session Papers, Petition Prince Consort (10 July) 2:
All and Haill the daugh of land of Balmoral, comprehending the mains and manor-place of Balmoral, Balninach, Balnakyle, the Smiddycroft, the town and lands of Invergelder, with the miln thereof.
(2) Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sk. & Poems 55:
“Yae, a pole,” said Erty . . . “Juist a hael an' hadden pole.”
Sh.10 1956:
We saw da hael an hadden business fae beginnin ta end.
(3) Fif. 1912 D. Rorie Mining Folk 403:
But a' the time he lay he was whole at the heart.
(5) Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 155, 229:
An' maybe a pair o' foreigners to haud it haill wi. . . . It winna be lang ere Baubie gi'e 'im ane mair to haud it haill wi'.

II. n. The whole, the whole amount or number; with def. art. or posses. pron. and the pl. = all (the), the whole of (the). Gen.Sc.Ayr. 1721 R. Lawson Maybole (1885) 20:
That fleshers shall be obliged to make sale of what beef or mutton they shall have in their booths in haills or in quarters, or in shares.
Dmf. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun 20:
Syne, having owr and owr again The hale survey'd.
m.Lth. 1811 H. Macneill Bygane Times 30:
The hail he had was on his back, His wardrobe was no worth ae plack.
Slk. 1824 Blackwood's Mag. (March) 229:
Quarrelling wi' the haill o' them.
Sc. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 243:
And the hale o' the prisoners were overjoyed at their deliverance.
Arg. 1908 N. Munro Daft Days vi.:
I know you fine, the whole of you.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 24:
Oo've gaen wui the whole o thon sheivs o bannih.
Ags. 1934 J. Angus Sheltering Pine 46:
But whit aboot the cost o' the buildin'? Are ye prepared tae stand the heall o't?

Phrs.: (1) hail o' my ain, hail a' mine ain, an exclamation by which the finder of something lays claim to the whole of it (see quot.). Cf. Halvers; ‡(2) in hail, in all, altogether. Now mainly in legal formulæ, of a sum total.(1) Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery Intro. Ep. 46:
The stranger stooped eagerly to assist him. “Na, na, hail o' my ain” said the sexton; “nae halves or quarters.”
Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce III. ix.:
Have I no, a right to cry, Half mine!-if not 'Haill! a' mine ain-nane o' my neighbours-nae halvers or quarters!'
(2) Abd. 1731 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 5:
A flax bed, a bolster . . . a stand and rush bottom'd chair estimate in haile at six shillings ster.
Ags. 1757 Marriage Contract per Fif.1:
The sum of three Hundred pounds sterling . . . added to the Tocher after mentioned makes in Haill the sum of four Hundred pounds sterlling.
Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 110:
Gied ye in a shoeing bill, 'Twas twenty shillings sax in hale.
Peb. 1836 J. Affleck Poet. Wks. 81:
My tocher's fifty pound in hale.

III. v. To heal, cure (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., hale, hyill; Slg. 1930 per Lnk.1). Gen. (exc. em.Sc.,(b))Sc.Per. 1729 W. Fraser Red Bk. Grandtully (1868) II. 326:
Lord Royston's leg hails apace.
Rxb. 1856 H. S. Riddell St Matthew iv. 23:
Hælin' a' kinkind o' ailment.
Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 158:
Bane ta bane, Hael i' da Father, Da Son, an' da Holy Ghost's name.
Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 46:
Reddin' kames, haelin' saw.
Sh. 1947 New Shetlander (Aug.–Sept.) 19:
We aye fan a haelin, An' rest, bi da fire, i' da auld restin' chair.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick iv.:
Sair bitties is aye yokie fin 'ey're hellin.

[O.Sc. hail(l), hale, adj., n., from a.1400, and, in sense 5. of adj., from 1375, hale-scart, 1513; O.E. hāl, whole. The v. occurs in O.Sc. = to cure, a.1400, to recover, 1478, and derives partly from the adj., partly from a dialect (e.g. em.Sc.(a)) form of heal. See P.L.D. §§ 32, 32.1 and § 88 (1).]

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