Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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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?”
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"Wastle adj., adv., prep., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/wastle>