Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
AVAL(D),1 Avil, Avel, Aival, Aaval, Yavil, adj. and n. See Awal(d).1 [′ɑ:vəl(d) Sc.; ′ɑ:vɑl Ork. + ′ɑ:vəl; ′ɑ:vɪl Gall., w.Dmf. + ′ɑ:vəl; ′jɑ:vəl mn.Sc. + ′jɑ:vɪl; ′e:vəl Deeside, Donside; ə′nɛvəl Cai.]
1. adj. Used generally in the pred., less frequently before a noun. Lying on the back, helpless, prostrate, spoken of sheep and other animals. Extended also to persons and objects.
Abd.(D) c.1750 R. Forbes Jnl. from London (1767) 11:
They may come to lay up my mittens, an' ding me yavil. [“Lay me flat,” Key, 1767.] Donside 1932 (per
To lie or fa' avil. Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 34–35:
Tho' they croak owre us, as owre avald sheep. Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 190:
A min' yin o' them . . . yt could maist 'a taen a Kyloe bill by the horns, an laid it aval. Kcb. 1895 S. R. Crockett Bog-Myrtle 280:
To assure himself . . . that there were no stragglers lying frozen . . . or turned avel in the lirks of the knowes. w.Dmf. 1899 J. Shaw A Country Schoolmaster 343:
A sheep lying on its back and unable to right itself was said to have “fa'en avil.” I believe it was applied to men lying supine when intoxicated, and even a man dying lying on his back was sad to “die avil.”
2. n. in adv.phrs. In, and I' aval, apae aval, a nevval = on aival. See Nevval. (In nevval the n of on is attracted to the stressed syll. of aival.)
Ork. 1880 Paety Toral in Ellis E.E.P. V. 795:
An dan she turnd her roond aboot Whaar he in aaval lay. (Transliterated.) Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 40:
Andro lyan' i' aval like a t'ing half deid. Ork. 1929 Marw.:
A supine position, used specif. of an animal lying on its back — e.g. “The yowe's geen apae aval”; thence in a transferred sense of anything that has gone wrong or of any thing or person in a position from which it is not easy to rise. Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 64:
To fa a nevval is to roll over without the power of getting up again. Applied to a sheep and then to an intoxicated person.
3. Comb.: Aval-thrawn.
Gall. c.1870 J. Matthewson in Bards of Gall. ed. Harper (1889) 1:
An' may her sons owre a' the yirth, Aye grace the auld place o' their birth, An' ne'er be aval-thrawn by dearth.
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