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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.

Dele, Deil(l, n. Also: dell(e, deile, deyll, deale, deall. [ME. dele, deel, del, etc., OE. dǽl.]

1. A part or portion; a bit or whit.Chiefly in phrases used adverbially, esp. na dele, nocht or never a dele, and ilk(a) or everilk dele. See also Half-dele, Sum-dele.(1) 1375 Barb. x. 625 (E).
Ane … said, ‘Away, I se yow weile’. The quhethir he saw thaim nocht a dele
a1400 Leg. S. i. 321.
Drede na deile. For I sal helpe thé wondire veill
Ib. xxx. 456.
He the monk knew na dele
c1420 Wynt. viii. 6744.
The Inglismen had na deile Cowerit hors
?1438 Alex. i. 932.
I nor myne lufis him neuer a deill
Ib. ii. 4930.
Men may find weill Sum men that can nocht greif a deill Ane man [etc.]
c1475 Wall. v. 926.
He … Kest doun his sper, and sonȝeit nocht a deyll
Ib. xi. 1164.
This helpys nocht a dell
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 48.
Ane blist band that bindis so fast That none vndo it a deill may
1513 Doug. xiii. Prol. 117.
As to the text accordyng neuer a deill
1535 Stewart 220.
Sen he wes borne ȝit saw he neuir a deill
(2) 1375 Barb. xvi. 326 (E).
He mycht haiff conqueryt weill The land of Irland ilka dele
Ib. xvii. 667.
He to-fruschyt hyr ilk dele
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 732.
I persawe wele Thi gilry euir-ilke dele
c1420 Wynt. v. 2137.
Swa the destyne wes welle Fulfillyd and haldyn ilke delle
Ib. 3846.
Ourepassyd thai dayis ilka dele
?1438 Alex. ii. 2468.
Ȝe can richt wele Record of lufe euerilk dele The stoundis
Ib. 3433.
My sheld is bendit ilka dele
a1500 Henr. Orph. 520 (A).
He … gart the god eite wp his flesche ilk dele
c1475 Wall. iv. 452.
The [sper] schafft to-brak ilk deyll
a1500 Seven S. 873.
His spens was als large As of befor euerilk deile
1513 Doug. ii. iv. 35.
As I schaw sall the veritie ilk deile
Ib. iii. Prol. 31.
This text is full of storys euery deill
1535 Stewart 11720.
Thir gydis all … Saiffit thame self fra drowning euery deill
15.. Clar. ii. 103.
Clariodus all wnderstud at ryght, Palexis had tauld him ever ilke deale
Ib. iii. 2148.
Schawing everie deill Thair grit infortoun

2. (Ane) grete dele, a large number or quantity. Usu. adverbially = greatly, much. ?1438 Alex. ii. 10927.
Of maydinnis and of ladyes great deill Assembled war
1513 Doug. xiii. vi. 123.
Thou, far bettir, and gret deill worthiar To bair the riall ceptyr
1562-3 Winȝet I. 3/24.
We … exhort the latter marinaris … to lat down ane grete dele thair hie sailis
a1568 Scott xxxvi. 31.
I salbe clengit … quhyttar than the snaw gret deill
c1650 Spalding I. 221.
Whiche war ane gryte deall moir satisfactorie to ws then his writtin declaratioun

3. A part or portion. = Dale n.2 2 and 2 b. 1564 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 53.
To requyre Superintendents to be placed … in the Mers, … Tweddall, and the rest of the deales in the South not provydit
1600 Acts IV. 241.
The cottaris deallis, and aucht akeris of land occupyit by the fischeris of Ferne
1633 Ib. V. 125/1.
The tua dealles of land lyand betuix the lands of Grainge and Haltounehill

4. Dealing, intercourse; = Dale n.2 4 (esp. 4 c). 1490 Irland Mir. I. 73/6.
Thai ar nocht strenȝeit ane of thame to haue fleschly deill with wthire
a1500 Seven S. 1216.
The king … said that him behufit than For hele haf deile with a woman
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 198/2.
The devillis tuke liklynes of men and had carnale dele with tham
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1254.
Wee will haif na mair deall with thé Then with the Queene of Farie
1566 St. A. Kirk S. 279.
He hes grantit that he had carnall deyll wyth hyr
1595 Logie Par. Hist. I. 80.
The said Iames and Agnes haid carnall deall togethir

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



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