Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TWEEL, n., v. Also tweal (Jam.), tweil; ¶towel-. Sc. form of n.Eng. dial. and now St. Eng. twill, to weave (cloth) so that only the third, fourth, etc. threads cross each other in the texture. See Tweedle, v.1 [twil]

I. n. 1. The strong fabric produced by twilling (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 272; Ork., ne.Sc., em.Sc. (a), Lnl., Wgt., Rxb. 1973). Fig. in phr. to change one's tweel, to change one's tune (Fif. 1973). Sc. 1724  Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 28:
Ye shall ha'e twa good pocks That anes were o' the tweel.
Knr. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 VI. 169:
Some coarse tweels, some harns and straikens.
Sc. 1807  J. Duncan Art of Weaving 87:
In the texture of plain cloth, every thread is constantly interwoven; whilst in that of tweels, they are only interwoven at intervals.
Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. xxvi.:
As gude a tweel as ever cam aff a pirn.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 457:
O! but I loe their hamely tweils.
Sc. 1843  Whistle-Binkie (1890) II. 168:
Mony braw wabs o' baith plainen and tweel.
Ags. 1851  T. Watson Rhymer's Family 14:
His cravat o' the silken tweel.
Lnk. 1922  T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 68:
You're gey warm in thick tweel.

2. Fig. The texture or structure of a piece of verse or music. Abd. c.1779  J. Skinner Amusements (1809) 103:
Some pawky chiel, That seems to understand the tweel O' rustic rhyme.
Abd. 1898  J. Milne Poems 13:
Discord maun now her quarters shift Or change her tweel.

3. The slant or angle at which the coulter of a plough is set in the plough beam and which determines the lie of the furrow (Slg., Fif. 1973). Cf. II. 2. (2). Per. 1950  MS. Verses:
Wha'll set the ploo for twill and shed And proper cut?

4. A criss-crossing to-and-fro movement. Sc. 1820  Scots Mag. (May):
A monstrous eel, wi' twist and tweel The gapan' entrance wure.

II. v. 1. To weave in the manner of twilling by making the weft pass over one warp thread in three or more (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Hence tweelin(g), twi-, the process of so doing; cloth, usu. linen, woven in this way (Ib.), also used attrib. Sc. 1704  Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 337:
3 ell of twilling to lyne it [a waistcoat].
Slg. 1738  Burgh Rec. Slg. (1889) 244:
To furnish and provide as much twiling as will be two frocks.
Sc. 1741  Caled. Mercury (12 March):
Tweeling or Satin at 6d. [per Yard].
m.Lth. 1745  Private MS.:
A tuillin willicot.
Mry. 1758  Abd. Journal (18 April):
Damasks, diapers, sattins, mancos, tweelings.
Ags. c.1800  Lord Thomas and Fair Annet in
Child Ballads No. 73 H. xxii.:
It's I'll send to Willie a toweld silk, To hing below his knee.
Sc. 1807  J. Duncan Art of Weaving 87:
In the linen manufacture, every description of bed and table linen, is generally tweeled.
Ags. 1818  Scots Mag. (Sept.) 235:
His shirt is made of coarse linen yarn, but being tweeled is termed tweeling, the name of linen never being applied here to tweeled cloth, nor even to plain, unless of a certain degree of fineness.
Slk. 1824  Hogg Confessions (1874) 532:
His coat is tweeled, milled, and thicker than a carpet.
Sc. 1839  A. Ure Dict. Arts 385:
Damask belongs to that species of texture which is distinguished by practical men by the name of tweeling.
Ayr. 1868  J. K. Hunter Artist's Life 186:
I had a tweeled canvass, the first one I had ever painted on.
Sc. 1894  C. Rogers Social Life I. 245:
The usual necktie or overlay was a square of tweeling, of coarse yarn.

2. Fig.: ¶(1) to cover or decorate with a diagonal pattern, like twilled cloth. Sc. 1932  Scots Mag. (Dec.) 210:
Roses that tweel a bed.

(2) to turn the furrow-over completely esp. when ploughing up grass (Slg., Fif. 1954). Cf. I. 3.

[O.Sc. tweyll, 1329, twele, 1374, tueling, 1576, = I. 1., North. Mid.Eng. twyle, twel, id., northern forms, with ē < i, of O.E. twili, twilled, from twi-, double + -li, ad. Lat. -lix, as in bilix, trilix, double-, triple-threaded, from licium, a thread. The southern Eng. form twilly is now obs.]

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"Tweel n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Mar 2018 <>



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