Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SHAELA, n. Also shaila(h), shilah, sheila, shaler (Edm.); sjela (Jak.). [′ʃe:lɑ]

1. Hoar-frost (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., Sh. 1970) esp. used attrib. in combs. sjela-clood, -frost. -wadder (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).

2. A steely grey colour, esp. of the wool of native Shetland sheep (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 196, 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1970). Freq. attrib. or adj., of this colour, bluish grey, like frost on black soil. Sh. 1845  Stat. Acc.2 XV. 126:
The native breed of sheep . . . black and white, in equal proportions, or “shilah,” and piebald.
Sh. 1892  G. Stewart Fireside Tales 244:
Dey hed sax shaela yows.
Sh. 1900  Chambers's Jnl. (22 Sept.) 717:
Shaila which is a kind of grayish-brown, with a strange frosted appearance.
Sh. 1951  Scots Mag. (Nov.) 83:
A bluish-grey, the Shailah of Shetland, every hair of whose black wool is tipped with white, may have been their predominant colouring.
Sh. 1958  New Shetlander No. 48. 8:
Da shaila sheen Has changed da green.

[Norw. hela, hoar frost. See S, letter, 6.]

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"Shaela n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Dec 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/shaela>

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