Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

ABLE, YIBBLE, adj. [ebl Sc., jbl s.Sc.]

1. Obs. in sense of well-to-do, rich. Occurs in Godlie Ballads (S.T.S.) 130.

2. Substantial. Per. 1766  R. Nicol Poems 120:
An able house well thatch'd aboon.

3. Physically fit, strong. Gen.Sc. (obs. in St. Eng. See N.E.D.). Abd. 1931 2 :
The aul man's nae sa able as he aince wis.
Rxb. 1915  Kelso Chronicle (16 April) 3:
He feers that mony yible chaps Obey not duty's ca'.
Uls. 1931 3 :
A big able fellow (well set-up, hefty).

4. Shrewd, cute, clever in looking after one's own interests. Cai. 1931 6 :
Jock wis an able lad or he wid never hev got roon e factor is e did.
Uls. 1931 3 .

[O.Fr. hable, able. Mod.Fr. habile. Lat. habilem from habēre.]

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

"Able adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Oct 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down