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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ell, El, n. Also: elle, yell. [ME. elle (15th c.), reduced form of ellen, eln(e Eln(e.]

1. An ell, esp. of cloth. Also comb. ell-braid, ellwide.(1) 14.. Acts I. 387/1.
The rude [sal contene] xl. fallis. The fall sall hald vi ellis
1491 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 63.
The quhilk hail croft extendis … to the quantite of a feilde rude and sex ellis
1528 Cal. Chart. (Reg. H.) Suppl.
At thair be halff ane ell of breyd on euerylk syd off the marche stanys to be free wnlawboryt for euer
1596 Dalr. I. 208/24.
He commandet the wal of Abircorne to be erected agane of viii els thik, xii els hiche
1629 M. Works Acc. XXI. 31.
Ane cleik and ane cheinȝie ane ell lang
1640 Bk. Pasquils 103.
With … my bandeleire, My 7 yells of Flanders matche, And my sheiring suord
1666 Bamff Chart. 307.
Ane aiker and eighteen ellis of land
(2) c1500 Crying of Play 39.
Five thousand ellis ȝeid in his frog Of hieland pladdis of haire
1526 Carnwath Baron Ct. 30.
ix ellis of ell braid claitht
1527 Treas. Acc. V. 301.
Ane el crammessy satyne to be [the] bawby Jhesus of the Senyis ane coit
1564 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun 138.
Ten servitouris of ell braid lynnyng
1570 Soc. Ant. VI. 52.
Four ellis ȝallow tauffateis, … at xxiiij s … a ell
1640 Brechin Test. V. 291.
Four ellis of ellbraid linning cloath

b. Used as a plurall. (Cf. Eln(e 1 b, 2 b.) c1500 Crying of Play 43.
Ellevyne ell wyde met was his mouth
1566 Fleming Q. Mary 500.
Of velvat iij elle
1612 Edinb. Test. XLVII. 126.
Fyve ell florit satene
1670 Lauder Jrnl. 239.
For 2 elle and a quarter of borders
1692 Foulis Acc. Bk. 151.
5 ell draptaberrie cloath

2. The kingis ell, = Elwand 2. a1605 Montg. Flyt. 437 (T).
Be the moving of the mone, … & the kingis ell

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"Ell n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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