Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DALE, DAIL, Deyl, Deall, n.2 Sc. forms of Eng. deal, a certain size of plank of fir or pine wood; the wood of fir or pine.

Used also in Sc. to mean: 1. a shelf (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd. correspondents, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1939; Ayr.4 1928, dail). Hence (1) cheese-dail, “a shelf on which cheeses lie for maturing” (Kcb.10 1939); (2) turnin'-dails, “racks which hold a number of cheeses which can be turned on pivots, thus saving the labour of turning singly by hand” (Id.); 2. “a wooden bridge across a burn, sometimes consisting of a single plank laid from bank to bank, sometimes composed of several planks laid side by side” (Sh. 1938 (per Sh.3)); 3. a vessel (orig. of wood) gen. used for holding milk (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). [del Sc., but Cai. deil] 1. Sc. 1802  Scott Letters (1894) I. 14:
Sundry times he'd run to the dale where the books lay.
Dmf. 1925  W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 23:
In some houses a series of shelves like a press without doors were called dails.
(2) Kcb. 1940 10 :
Up till twae year sin' we had nocht but the auld plain shelves, but the estate jiners put in posts and made them intae turnin'-dales.
3. Cai. c.1910 7 :
Scaud yer deyls if ye want til keep yer milk sweet.
Per. 1737  Ochtertyre House Booke (S.H.S. 1907) 248:
[Inventory of Milk House] 1 deall with iron handle.

[O.Sc. has dale, dail, a deal or plank, from 1496 (D.O.S.T.); introduced into Eng. from L.Ger. c.1400, earliest quot. N.E.D. 1402 (dele); Mid.Du. dele, deele, a plank (Kilian).]

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"Dale n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Feb 2019 <>



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