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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).

Fabill, Fable, n. Also: fabyll, febill. [ME. fable, fabel(l, -il(l, -ul(le), OF. fable, L. fābula.] A fable, a fictitious tale or statement. Also (without article) fiction.(a) 1375 Barb. i. 2.
Storys to rede ar delitabill, Suppos that thai be nocht bot fabill
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1033.
Thai fenyheid fabyllis I wyll forbere, That Ovyde tellys
Ib. 1052.
How Perseus als, as fabyll sayis [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 63.
Of ane cok he wrait, … Of quhome the fabill ȝe sall heir anone
1535 Stewart 85.
Tha maid thair buikis, thair tractatis, and thair tabillis, Part be ges, and part be fenȝeit fabillis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8348.
Ane fyne fabill in that volume I fand
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxxviii. 15.
Fra tyme thai find thair fabillis faill effect, Thai will deny thair deling and desist
1622-6 Bisset II. 305/15.
It … appeiris to be a febill
(b) 1513 Doug. iii. Prol. 16.
I dreid men clepe thame fablis now on days
1533 Gau 3/12.
In the quhilk bukis thair is sa mony … fablis and dremis gadrit to gider
1562-3 Winȝet I. 78/25.
Ane gesting-stok, ane fable or bable to lach at

b. But (or withoutin) fabill, in fact or truth. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2632.
I but fable All richt that I haf in this thing, I gif It him
c1450-2 Howlat 651.
Thar was the haraldis fa, the hobby but fable
c1475 Wall. xi. 472.
Be thi desyr resonable, I sall it grant with outyn ony fable
1535 Stewart 16632.
Rycht fair he wes and fectfull als but fabill
15.. Clar. i. 1151.
He laid it [the herb] on the wounds againe, but fabill

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"Fabill n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Aug 2022 <>



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