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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Va(i)lȝe, Vail(l, v. Also: wailȝe, waill, vayl(e, vale, velȝe, welȝe. [ME and e.m.E. wail (Cursor M.), vaille, vayl(e (both Manning), vail(e (Gower), wayll(e (Gower), OF vail(l, participial stem of valoir, to be of value. Cf. Avail v.]

1. intr. To be of use or profit. b. Vail(ȝe que (quod) vail(ȝe [F. vaille que vaille], no matter what, whatever the outcome, or difficulty. c. quasi-tr., impers. It is of no avail, it avails nothing.(a) ?1438 Alex. ii 1422.
Quhair hartis failȝeis The laif of lymmes lytle vailȝeis
a1500 Henr. Orph. 148 (Bann.).
Playit he a spring … Him to deuod from his grit womenting; Bot all in vane, that wailȝeit [A. thai comfort him] no thing
(b) ?1438 Alex. i 1460.
Sa rude ane rout … That scheld [etc.] … valȝeit neuer a deill
?1438 Alex. ii 2071.
This is dame Venus hous … Here may nane duell bot he that lufis. Here may valȝeis [F. vaut] nocht the thocht, Na to be shamefull helpis it nocht
(c) a1500 Henr. Orph. 187 (Bann.).
He … passit … To seik his wyfe, bot that welȝeid [A. avalit] no thing
(d) 1456 Hay I 178/10.
Gif be the benefice of sauf condyte vaillis nocht never man wald traist efter in sauf condyt
a1500 Henr. Fab. 385 (Bass.).
The cat cummis and to the mous hes ee, Quhat vaillis [A. avale, Bann. awaill] than thy feist and royaltie
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4484.
Ouhat vails all thir vaine honour[i]s Nocht being sure to leife twa houris?
c1590 Fowler I 348/29.
What vayles myne eyes if they beholde not you?
1587-99 Hume 72/128.
Thou vexed art to see thy brothers weill, Quhilk vailis thee nocht, nor harmes him neuer a deil
(e) 1460 Hay Alex. 18710.
[Quhat] waillis visdome or vertew
c1460 Regim. Princ. 239 (Marchm.).
Quhat valis men thi richtwis jugement, With wryt and wax confermit … And syne the party neuir to be content
1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 180.
Quhat valith to the king … Sen pryncely puissance may nocht be exemit From deith
c1590 Fowler I 334.
Quhat valeth it
b. 1375 Barb. ix 148 (E).
Thai wald defend wailȝe que wailȝe [C. avalȝe que valȝe]
?1438 Alex. ii 5640.
My body of … trauailȝie Mon charged be, vailȝe quod vailȝe
1513 Doug. vi Prol. 167.
Help me, Mare, for certis, vail que vailȝe, War at Pluto, I sal [etc.]
1513 Doug. ix Prol. 86.
Thus vail que vail [Sm. vaill] que vaill, ilk gude deid helpis other
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 161.
I wyll, said scho, ascend, vailȝe quod vailȝe
c. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1526.
Bot all in vane, it vailȝeit [Bann. velȝeit] him na thing
(b) c1475 Wall. ii 112.
The thrid he straik … The crag in twa, no weidis mycht him waill
a1500 Quare Jel. 502.
Quhat vaillith it of ocht?
1535 Stewart 19310.
It vaillit thame nothing
c1590 Fowler I 64/174.
For to resist or to withstand that lord it vailed not

2. tr. To assist, help. c1475 Wall. xi 776.
Thar suld com na wictaill In to that toun, nor men at mycht thaim waill
a1500 K. Hart 697.
In all disport he may ws gritlie vaill [: taill] … hald him quhill ȝe may

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



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