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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.

ABLE, YIBBLE, adj. [ebl Sc., jɪ̢bl s.Sc.]

1. Obs. in sense of well-to-do, rich. Occurs in Godlie Ballads (S.T.S.) 130.Abd. 1826 in G. Humbert Literarische Einfiüsse in Schottischen Volksballaden (1932) 78: 
He wishes the whole of the work however large or expensive, as he is an able man.

2. Substantial. Mry. 4 1932
Speaking of the strongest part, or the part for getting the best leverage for a sail on the boat, as the "ablest" part.
Per. 1766 R. Nicol Poems 120:
An able house well thatch'd aboon.

3. Physically fit, strong; having an appetite for (I. and n.Sc., Per., wm.Sc. 1975). Gen.Sc. (obs. in St. Eng. See N.E.D.).Abd.2 1931:
The aul man's nae sa able as he aince wis.
Abd. 1970
I was sick aa mornin and nae able for my denner.
Rxb. 1915 Kelso Chronicle (16 April) 3:
He feers that mony yible chaps Obey not duty's ca'.
Uls.3 1931:
A big able fellow (well set-up, hefty).

4. Shrewd, cute, clever in looking after one's own interests.Cai.6 1931:
Jock wis an able lad or he wid never hev got roon e factor is e did.
Uls.3 1931.

[O.Fr. hable, able. Mod.Fr. habile. Lat. habilem from habēre.]

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



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