Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
HERSEL, pron. Also hersell; hursel (pseudo-Highl.). Gen.Sc. forms and usages of Eng. herself. See P.L.D. § 70.3. [hər′sɛl]
1. Phrs.: (1) at hersel, see At, prep., A. 8.; (2) by hersell, out of her mind (I. and ne.Sc., em.Sc.(a), Kcb. 1957). For later exs. see By; (3) out of herself, id. (Ork., Ayr., Slk. 1957).
(2) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 29:
Some skair he judg'd the beauty fair had got — An' thought that she e'en by her sell meith be. (3) Gall. 1728 Session Bk. Minnigaff (1939) 516:
She was out of herself and so not sensible what she said at that time.
2. Used as a liter. convention to represent a Highlander's way of referring to himself: myself, I. Cf. sim. use of She = I, and see also Nainsel.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) I. 90:
You need not fash to say no thing, Hersel brings you a bra' new King. Sc. 1800 Monthly Mag. (1 May) 323:
The Lowlanders often jocularly call a Highlander “her sel.” Sc. 1827 Scott Two Drovers ii.:
Ye maun come to some Highland body like Robin Oig hersell for the like of these. Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped xv.:
“Five shillings mair,” said he, “and hersel' will bring ye there.” Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xl.:
“Hursel' be a puir Gregor lad, an' no doin' ony harm!” was his statement.
3. The mistress of the house (n.Sc., Ags., wm.Sc., Kcb., Uls. 1957); the proprietress (of an estate, etc.). Cf. He, B. I. 2.
Sh. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Evid. II. 1238:
There is no factor over the property; every tenant pays the rent to herself. Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road ii.:
Not a word of this to herself in-by. wm.Sc. 1923 H. Foulis Hurricane Jack 94:
“What way's hersel, — the mustress keepin'?” Para Handy asked. Fif. 1926 I. Farquhar Pickletillie 13:
It'll be Hersel, that's dune it . Uls. 1948 D. G. Waring Not quite so Black 189:
I had my mouth open to give Herself notice the day he come.
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"Hersel pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Sep 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/hersel>
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