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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ORMAL, n. Also ormil, -el; urmal (Ork. 1929 Marw.); hirmal, -el, hermel; with alternative dim. ending, hermek, hirmek; and reduced forms herm, hirm. A scrap, fragment, remnant, particle (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 166, 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1964). Gen. in pl. except in neg. phr. no a or de herm(el), -ek, not a scrap, not the smallest particle (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Also used as the name for one of the Vee Skerries (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Adj. urmy, diminutive, fragmentary, of small potatoes (Ork. 1929 Marw.). [′ɔrməl]Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 591:
I widna a left da wratch da ormal o' a lugg.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (6 Nov.):
What can be torn da fowl laek dis? Dey're no da hirmal o' a maester pen left i' his tail.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Der'r no a herm o' bread i' de corn, no a herm o' oil i' de livers; he did no leave a hermek.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 97:
I tink da shicken is only been wadin trow dis [soup], fur I see nae ormals o' him.

[O.N. örmul, id.]

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"Ormal n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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