Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DEVAL, v. and n. Also devall, devaul, devawl, devaal, dewal, and corrupt forms devauld (Sc. 1868 G. Webster Strathbrachan 257), deva(a)ld (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 243); dewald (Mry. 1930 A. Rose W.-L.); devalge (Rxb. 1923Watson W.-B.); devalve (Ib., 1942 Zai; Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.); develve (Patterson), devolve (Bwk.2 1948; Lnk. 1949 (per Mearns 6)). Forms with di- are -also found. Gen. (exc. I.) Sc. [də′vɑ:l, -′vl, -′vɑld(ʒ), -′vɑ(l)v Sc., but Cai. -′wɑ:l]

1. v. To stop, cease, leave off. Freq. of rain or snow. Also in n.Eng. dial. Sc. ? 1827 Scott Letters (1936) X. 183:
Except about three or four hours for food and exercise I have not till today devaled from my task.
Crm. 1933 D. A. Mackenzie in Letter (7 July):
Devall was common in my boyhood. When youngsters made a noise, grannie would exclaim, “Bairns, bairns, will ye no devall?”
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 37:
It dang on sax ooks delaverly on iver uppalt or dewalt.
Bch. 1930 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (March) 104:
A . . . jist keepit 'im hard at it, an' 'e didna like to divall for fear o' the idders gettin a lauch at 'im.
Fif. 1894 J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 21:
He . . . wad hae turned up the stair again, but the thocht o' her never-devalvin' tongue was eneuch.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 58:
Devall then, Sirs, and never send For daintiths to regale a friend.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ayrshire Legatees ix.:
Becky, will you never devawl wi' your backbiting.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 15:
Never devaaldin ti crack prood an massy aboot its bonnie bits an its history.

2. n. Cessation, stop (Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry, Gl.; Bnff.2 Abd.2, Abd.9 1940). L.Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 34:
Fae morn tae nicht there's nae devaal Fae trauchlin aye an' tyaavin.
Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My ain Folk 88:
Fat for wud he gar creaturs gae on wi' nae deval till they war blin' and dottl't w' leernin'?
Bch. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 25:
The third week at Wasterton It rained withoot deval.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xiv.:
His tongue gaed like the clapper o' a kail bell withoot devald.
Hdg. 1885 J. Lumsden Rhymes and Sk. 239:
Dod Denam, Will Whitelaw, an' a' the lave o' the lads an' halflins belanging to the place hae been workin' 'ithoot devald an' makin' ready.

[The orig. meaning of devale, deval(l), dewall, etc., in O.Sc. is to move downwards, to descend, found from 1456; the meaning of “to cease” appears only once, c.1540; from O.Fr. deval(l)er, Mod.Fr. dévaler, to go or let down, from O.Fr. dé-, down, + val, valley. For change of [d] to [dʒ] in form devalge, see Rxb. W.-B. Intro. § 23 (A) and cf. Dad, n.2, 3, and Dadge, n.1]

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"Deval v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2021 <>



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