Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1976 (SND Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

WASTLE, adj., adv., prep., n. Also wassle, -el, -il; westle, wessel, -il(t), westlit. [wɑsl]

I. adj. Living or situated in or lying to the west (s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 167; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., wassle).

II. adv. Westward, to the west (Lth. 1808 Jam., wessilt, westlit, s.v. Eastilt; Sc. 1825 Jam., wassel, westle, wessel; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., wastle, wassle). Nonce comb. eassla-wassla, east-west. For form see III. prep. below.Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. i.:
Ye maun haud wessel by the end o' the loan.
s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xiv.:
We were jickering along wessil wi our heads bent to the weather.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 16:
Another ribbon, — verder-cled, rinnin eassla-wassla — telld the coorse o bonnie Teviot.

III. prep. Also in form was(s)la, westla [< wastle the], West of the — (Rxb. 1825 Jam., wastle, 1923 Watson W.-B., wassla). Phrs. (1) wassil-gate, = wast-the-gate s.v. Wast, adv., 3.; (2) wastle-the-waitter, wasla-water, west of the river (in Hawick), and hence as a back-formation wasla, the western part of Hawick, comb. westla player, a participant in the Hawick ball-game who comes from the west part of the town. Cf. west ender s.v. Wast.(1) Sc. 1829 Scott Guy M. Note E:
Dandie Eassil-gate, Dandie Wassil-gate had their names from living eastward and westward in the street of the village.
(2) s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 167:
The town of Hawick is divided by the northward-running Slitrig into two parts, known as Eastle-the-waitter and Wastl-the-waitter, commonly contracted into Eis'la-waitter and Was'la-waitter, or simply Eis'la and Was'la.
Rxb. 1893 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 1) VI. 161:
The westla' players had the best of the game.
Rxb. 1902 R. Murray Hawick from 1832 140:
The “wasla water ” lads have to play against the stream.

IV. n. Fig. in nonce imprecative phr. to be a[< on]-wastle someone, to keep away from. For semantic development cf. Wast, adv., 1., away from the speaker.Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man (1972) iv.:
“The warld be a-wastle us!” cried old Pate, “wha's that now?”

[From Wast + adj. suff. -le, inclined to. O.Sc. has awestal, = III., 1462. Cf. also Eastle.]

Wastle adj., adv., prep., n.

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

"Wastle adj., adv., prep., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: