Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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OSEL, n. Also osal, ossel, -il, ozzel, ozle. One of the series of short cords by which a herring-net is attached to the head-rope of the fleet (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 121, ozle; I. and n.Sc., Bwk., Arg. 1964); the short piece of hair-cord attaching the hook to a fishing line (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928)). [ozl; Sh. ′ɔsəl] Sc. 1750  F. Grant Letter to M.P. 43:
DD are the Ossels; . . . each 18 inches long; they are fixed to two Mashes at one End by an Eye, and to the Spier-rope by the other End.
Sc. 1881  P.S.A.S. III. 150:
The nets . . . are attached to a strong “rape” or rope by means of thinner cords known as “ozzels”. These ozzels are first fixed, generally by the women, to the nets every five “masks” or meshes, and are afterwards twisted round the “rape” by the men.
Sh. 1899  Shetland News (12 Aug.):
Osels, cork, cutch, rods, reels, flies, and every requisite for sea and loch fishing.
Abd. 1960  Buchan Observer (26 Jan.):
Is there one so-skilled apprentice in the herring line who could turn to with the sheet, the ropes, the corks and the “ozels” and produce, after even a week's work, a net ready for sea?

[From wrong division of a nossel, Mid.Eng. nostylle, id., O.E. nos(t)le, a band. See Noozle, n.2]

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"Osel n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2018 <>



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