Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TEEL, v., n. Also †teill(e). Sc. forms of Eng. till, to cultivate (ground). [til]

I. v. As in Eng. (Sh. 1972). Specif. to plough. Used jocularly in 1962 quot. Abd. 1706  Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. VII. 17:
Teilleing and harrowing the small riggs and cutt.
Edb. 1715  Burgh Rec. Edb. (1967) 292:
Whosover ryves out and teels by their oun march stone without consent of their neighbour.
Ork. 1721  H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1939) II. 19:
Twelve horses for teilling, two for harrowing, and six for leading muck.
Per. 1816  J. Duff Poems 85:
His driver wish'd him wi' the deil, Because at plough he cou'dna teel.
Knr. 1891  H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 45:
We did oor pairt; we teel'd the laund.
Wgt. 1912  A.O.W.B. Fables frae French 87:
The treasure lay in teelin' weel the grun'.
Sh. 1962  New Shetlander No. 60. 16:
Whin head first I just teeled da grund Richt clap-dad at her feet.

II. n. In phr. out o' teel, out of cultivation (Sh. 1972), uncultivated, desolate. Sc. 1879  P. H. Waddell Isaiah xlix. 8:
Till stoop the lan' weel, an' the takks out o' teel till tak-up.

[O.Sc. teill, to plough, a.1400. The lengthening in Sc. is due to the open syllable surviving from the orig. trisyllabic form in O.E. tilian. Cf. Leeve, v., Speir, Steer.]

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"Teel v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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