Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ASSILAG, Asailag, n. The storm petrel, Procellaria Pelagica. Linn.Sc. 1698 M. Martin Voyage to St. Kilda (1818) 33:
The assilag is as large as a linnet. — It comes about the twenty-second of March, without any regard to winds.
Sc. 1776 T. Pennant Brit. Zoology of Birds 554:
It presages bad weather, . . . it braves the utmost fury of the storm, sometimes skimming with incredible velocity along the hollows of the waves, sometimes on the summits.
Sc. [1710] R. Sibbald Hist. of Fife (1803) 111 (Note):
The whole bird is black, except some white feathers about the tail. . . . The seamen . . . call these birds Mother Carey's Chickens.
Sc. 1885 C. Fergusson in Trans. Gael. Soc. of Inverness XII. 91:
Asailag . . . seems never to come near the land, except to breed, which it does in many parts of the Hebrides, where it lays its single egg under large boulders near the sea.

[“For origin of the Gaelic word compare Shetlandese asel, ‘storm, cold and sharp blast'; hence applied to what is in constant motion and restless, as in phrase upo de asel” (G. Henderson Norse Infl. on Celtic Scot. 123–124). See Asel.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Assilag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Oct 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: