Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
SPAUL, n., v. Also spall, spaal, spawl; spa(u)ld; spool, spull-, spule; ¶speul; speal. [spɑ:l, sp:l]
I. n. 1. (1) The shoulder in man or animals (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.); the shoulder-bone.
Sc. 1720 Caled. Mercury (8 Nov.):
About an Inch of Hair worn off his [horse's] far-Spald. Sc. 1724 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 83:
A various Rain-bow colourt Plaid Owre his left Spaul he threw. Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 194:
The chiel that will be prodigal; Whan wasted to the very spaul. Sc. 1775 Caled. Mercury (28 June):
A Pointer Dog with several liver-coloured spots, particularly one on his left oxter and spald. Sc. 1801 Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) XII. 191:
In Scotch undoubtedly from the French we have in current use the word spule and spauld for the shoulder blade. Slk. 1823 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) i.:
Some entire carcasses hung by the neck, some by a spauld. Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 177:
A cloud-giant coverin a parish wi' ilka stretch of his spawl. Fif. 1868 St Andrews Gazette (5 Sept.):
Guid grant that ye grow stoot an yauld, Baith strang o' limb an braid o' spauld. e.Lth. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 277:
He wad cast aff his coat, Fauld up his sark sleeves to the spaul. Sc. 1933 W. Soutar Seeds in the Wind 25:
His spauls jirg on like murlin' stanes.
(2) transf. a rounded projecting piece of ground, a bank, shoulder.
Ags. 1890–3 Brechin Advertiser (17 June, 2 May):
To purchase yon gryte spauld o' grund. . . . Naething atween's an' the saut water but some half-drooned spaulds o' grund.
2. (1) A limb in gen. (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1929); one of the four quarters of an animal, an animal's leg, freq. distinguished as fore- and back- or hind-spaul (see Back-spaul(d), Forespaul). Phrs. spaul frae spaul, spawl and plack, to spauls, limb from limb. Now only liter.
Lnk. 1746 D. Graham Writings (1883) I. 164:
Their Brigadier In every Spaul did quake for fear. s.Sc. 1758 Caled. Mercury (30 Sept.):
Lamed on both the fore-spawls by a Brecham. Ayr. 1789 J. Fisher Poems 103:
At that time he was young an' yaul, An' hale an' feer in ilka spaul. Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 8:
Bawsy, reluctant, tears the breckan roots Harsh, spaul frae spaul. Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 8:
Ae night on yon fog-theekit brae, I streek't my weary spauls o' clay. Rnf. 1805 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 34:
Sae may misfortune tear him spawl and plack. Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick III. xiv.:
Tae rive him in coupins lith, lim' an' spawl. Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 83:
My muse is e'en grown stiff an' auld, An' spaven'd sair in ilka spauld. Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1856) III. 214:
The bubbly, being longer in the spald, would outstep the gander. Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 134:
In I had the vile dominie here by the neck, I'd tear him to spawls for spoiling wee Tam! Sc. 1929 Gallovidian 77:
To rive an' rugle, spaul frae spaul, Wi' stourin clash an' din.
(2) specif. of the human legs (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., spalds).
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
We vulgarly speak of lang spauls, strictly referring to the limbs. Dmf. 1810 R. H. Cromek Remains 75:
What step is that by owr ha' en', Which treads sae light o' spauld? Abd. c.1820 W. Walker Bards (1887) 607:
An' oh, but my ain speuls be sma', My very nose as sharp's a filler. Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 69:
My spawls ha'e ne'er a hoshen now, my pouches ne'er a plack.
3. Of a carcase: a joint, a shoulder or leg of mutton, beef, etc., the wing or leg of a fowl (Rnf. 1920); the cut of beef from the shoulder, shoulder-steak (Bnff., Abd., ‡Per. 1971).
Sc. 1718 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 72:
Wi' hind and fore Spaul of a Sheep. Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy III. 113:
The spule o' the deer on the board he has set. Sc. 1806 R. Jamieson Ballads II. 169:
Your fat yow . . . and the four spawls o't. Dmf. 1810 R. H. Cromek Remains 87:
Dunscore sent her spauls o' sheep. Sc. 1822 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 387:
You fin' that spawl o' the gusy rather teuch. Sc. 1859 E. B. Ramsay Reminisc. 52:
Rax me a spaul o' that bubbly jock. Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxiv.:
Kissin 'is twa fingers wis like kissin 'e caal spaals o' a deid hen. Abd. 1955 Bulletin (19 Feb.) 12:
Spall, another cut off the top of the shoulder.
4. Combs. and derivs. (1) black-spauld, a disease of cattle, which attacks the quarters, a form of anthrax (‡Ork. 1971). See Black Spaul(d); (2) speal-bane, spool-, spule-, spull-, shoulder-blade (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (3) spule-blade, id.; (4) spawldrochie, -y, long-legged. See -Och, suff. II. 2. (3); (5) spall-ill, = (1); (6) spawly, long-, lanky-legged.
(1) Sc. 1791 The Bee (4 Aug.) 139:
A fatal distemper that black cattle are subject to . . . commonly called the Black Spald. Sc. 1807 Trans. Highl. Soc. III. 368:
The black spauld, which prevails among the young cattle in the west of Scotland, when the grasses fail. (2) Sc. 1761 Magopico 31:
The spule-bane, and the back-sey, and the spar-rib. Sc. 1771 T. Pennant Tour 1769 154:
Another sort of divination, called Sleine-nachd, or reading the speal-bone, or the blade-bone of a shoulder of mutton well scraped. Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 164:
The spool-bane, blade-bone (of meat). Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm xviii.:
Then for dinner — there's no muckle left on the spule-bane. Sc. 1826 Moss-Trooper II. ii.:
I'll lay this stick owre ye're spull-banes, an ye come near the house. Sc. 1850 J. Grant Sc. Cavalier xvii.:
If the auld witch, Elshender, by keeking through a spule bane should divine our errand. Ags. 1890 A. Lowson J. Guidfollow 239:
Twa slauky stanes seemit his spule-banes. (3) Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Let. xi.:
Claverhouse, his left hand always on his right spule-blade, to hide the wound that the silver bullet had made. (4) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 412:
Ane spawldrochy lang-legged flee. wm.Sc. 1890 Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) XIII. 100:
When some spawl drochie chiel Gets on te the ba' an' scoots aff like the deil. (5) Lnk. 1793 D. Ure Rutherglen 191:
The Spalliel [sic], in young cattle, is sometimes cured. (6) Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 29:
But we're no o' the spawly breed.
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"Spaul n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Mar 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/spaul>
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