Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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RAMMEL, n.1, adj. Also ramel; ram(m)le; ramble; and deriv. form ramlack (Gregor). Obs. exc. arch.

I. n. 1. A small or crooked branch of a tree or the timber from such, a rough piece of wood (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 139); a stunted scraggy tree, a strong, crooked stick (Ib.). Gen. as coll. pl. Also fig. in liter. use. Sh. 1744  A. C. O'Dell Hist. Geog. Sh. (1939) 306:
As much bark as possible you can get Barr[el] hoops and ramble what the ship can hold and more or less of the trees and dealls as you can have them so as the Ship is full.
Sc. 1746  Caled. Mercury (2 Sept.):
The Fortuna of Stavanger from Flecefeur, Tollison, with Dales and Ramble.
Dmb. 1753  Session Papers, Buchanan v. Towart (5 Dec.) 1:
The Master should from Time to Time furnish great Timber for the Houses, and Stabb and Ramble for upholding the Dykes.
Sc. 1926  H. M'Diarmid Drunk Man 54:
The michty trunk o' Space that spreids Ramel o' licht that ha'e nae end.

2. A big-boned scraggy animal. Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 139:
He bocht for cheapness, twa aul' ramles o' yowes, an' they baith deet i' the lamman.

3. A coarse variety of Kail. Bnff. 1889  Trans. Bnff. Field Club (April) 56:
About 200 rambles, or rough kail, a much tougher and stronger growing kail than the modern “curly” — their blades were like leather aprons.

II. adj. Of straw: coarse and rank (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).

[O.Sc. ramail, branch wood, c.1250, rammell, brushwood, 1513, O.Fr. ramaille, branches, rame, a branch. It is not certain that II. is the same word.]

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"Rammel n.1, adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Dec 2018 <>



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