Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DOOL, DULE, n.1, adj., v.1 Also †doul, dul(l), dol(e), deul, dill, †dael, †doole. [dul Sc., but døl I., m., s.Sc., dɪl Lth., Ayr., del Bwk.]

I. n.

1. Grief, sorrow, misery; suffering. Formerly Gen.Sc. but now rare exc. poet. Occas. in pl. Also in n.Eng. dial. Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
Muckle was the dool and care that came o't to my gudesire.
Sc. 1874  A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 246:
Of a' the miseries and dools that women are doomed to dree, that of bearing bairns to a gomeril is the saddest and the sairest.
Sh. 1891  J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 56:
O! dat soond o dül an sorrow!
Abd. 1746  W. Forbes Dominie Deposed (1767) 9:
Then dool and sorrow interveen'd.
Ags. 1945  “S. A. Duncan” Chron. Mary Ann 47:
I fand, to my dool, that my share wiz tae be the ootside [of nuts].
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) x.:
Words cannot describe the fear, and the dool, and the misery it caused.
Lnk. c.1850  Rymour Club Misc. (1906–11) I. 5:
I'll sit in my dill, I'll ca' you a fule, I'll ca' you a creeshie weaver.
Ayr. 1789  Burns To Toothache (Cent. ed.) iv.:
Of a' the num'rous human dools . . . Thou bear'st the gree!
Ayr. 1823  Galt R. Gilhaize III. vii.:
News of Sarah Lochrig having been permitted to leave the tolbooth of Irvine, without farther dule than a reproof from Provost Reid.
Kcb. 1896  S. R. Crockett Grey Man 203:
Such dule and lament as I saw that day saw I never anywhere.

Hence (1) doo(l)fu', dule-, -some, adj., sorrowful, gloomy, sad, causing pain. Also used adv.; (2) doolie, dooley, idem. (1) Sc. 1797  Scots Mag. (Sept.) 689:
Come tell me Jamie, what's the wyte ye mourn? Why ha'e your thoughts tain sic' a doolsom' turn?
Sc. 1887  R. L. Stevenson Underwoods 106:
They'll to your dulefü' house succeed.
Mry. 1865  W. H. L. Tester Poems 175:
The clods are dowfin' doo'some on her little coffin lid.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 40:
I fear the warst, that doolfu' is their lot.
Abd. 1916  G. Abel Wylins 104:
Oh, waesome months hae they been to me! Oh! doolsome to young an' to aul'!
Lnk. a.1832  W. Watt Poems (1860) 27:
Tis not the loss o' warldly gain . . . That gars me pour my doolfu' main, Wi' harp unstrung.
Ayr. 1787  Burns Lament for W. Creech v.:
The brethren o' the Commerce-Chaumer May mourn their loss wi' doolfu' clamour.
s.Sc. 1847  H. S. Riddell Poems 306:
My dream's wild light was not o' night, Nor o' the doofu' morning.
Rxb. 1805  A. Scott Poems 85:
In the flesh . . . [a] doofu' thorn.
(2) Ayr. 1823  Galt Entail lxxviii.:
But for Dirdumwhamle, . . . to be as one in doleful dumps, is sic a doolie doomster.

2. In excls. of distress or sorrow, e.g. l(a)ess an' döl, döl an' wae, = Alas! (Sh.11 1949), doolanee; dulence [dule on us] (Dmf. 1825 Jam.2). Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems II. 94:
O Dool! and am I forc'd to die, And nee mair my dear Siller see.
Sh. 1899  J. Spence Folk-Lore 242:
Pairtin' wi' dee dis mornin' mak's da aald sair ta blöd — laess an' döl.
Abd. 1931  D. Campbell Uncle Andie 64:
Alan Ogilvie hurtit wi' the oak! . . . Dool-a-nee! dool-a-nee!
Rnf. 1788  E. Picken Poems, etc. 41:
But, dool an' ee! or I was wattan They had secur't your servan' Rattan.
Lnk. c.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 61:
A dole! woman, I took a sudden blast o' the hame gawn.
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 167:
O dool! an' what will douce fouk say, When this I tell?

3. “A blow or stroke, properly one of a flat description” (Fif. 1825 Jam.2).

4. Phrs. and Combs.: †(1) dule-knot, a knot of ribbon worn as a sign of mourning; †(2) dool-string, a piece of black crepe, worn round the hat as a sign of mourning; (3) dule-tree, a gallows tree; arch.; known to Kcb.10 1940; †(4) dule-weeds, mourning garments; also in n.Yks. dial.; (5) in the dools, depressed, “in the dumps”; †(6) to cry (sing) dool, to lament, mourn; †(7) to thole the dool, to take the consequences (Sc. 1808 Jam.). (1) Dmf. 1885  F. Miller Poets of Dmf. (1910) 203:
Oh, mither, the dule-knot's on my breast The dank dew's on my hair.
(2) Gall. 1796  J. Lauderdale Poems 55:
O! Glasserton and Whithorn, you may wear The doole-strings now, and drop the mournful tear.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 179:
The nearest of kin to the deceased have commonly the largest dool-strings.
Wgt. 1877  G. Fraser Sketches 289:
The hilarious widower . . . began to dance vigorously, the while the long dool-strings, pendant from his hat down to his haunch buttons, danced and diddled together.
Kcb. 1814  W. Nicholson Poems 143:
The dool-string I should soon get rid on, An' dance an' sing.
(3) Sc. 1875  J. Grant Six Hundred I. ix.:
Make him a tassel on the dule-tree there without.
Sc. 1881  R. L. Stevenson Virginibus Puerisque (1887) 154:
The gibbets and dule trees of mediæval Europe.
Arg. 1901  N. Munro Doom Castle iii.:
My place goes up to the knowe beside his gallows; but his Grace's regality comes beyond this, and what does he do but put up his dule-tree there that I may see it from my window and mind the fact.
Ayr. 1864  J. Paterson Hist. Ayr. and Wgt. II. 272:
The tree [at Cassilis Castle] is called the “Dule Tree.” . . . Every baronial residence had its dule-tree.
Kcb. 1896  S. R. Crockett Grey Man xx.:
There would be an end of all his misery upon the dule-tree.
(4) Sc. 1822  Scott F. Nigel ix.:
We had weelnigh lost our life and put three kingdoms into dule-weeds.
(5) Ags. 1929  W. L. Anckorn in Scots Mag. (April) 77:
He trudged as far as Restenneth and came back in the dools.
(6) Sc. 1725  Ramsay Gentle Shepherd Act I. Sc. i. in Poems (1728):
'Till bris'd beneath the Burden, thou cry Dool.
Hdg. 1885  J. Lumsden Rhymes and Sk. 93:
Let King George sing dool on his throne.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Bard's Epitaph i.:
And o'er this grassy heap sing dool, And drap a tear.

II. adj. Sad, sorrowful, gloomy. Bnff. 1927  E. S. Rae Hansel fae Hame 32:
What's a' their boastit pride o' state When they deal oot sae dool a fate Tae aul' an' wearit?
Bwk. 1880  T. Watts in Minstrelsy of Merse (ed. Crockett 1893) 195:
Ay! dreich an' dowie's been oor lot, . . . Sin' yon dool day we pairtit wi' Oor ain wee wean.
Ayr. [1836]  J. Ramsay Woodnotes (1845) 221:
He never gets sulky, he never gets dool.
Gall. 1745  J. Douglas Book of Gall. (1882) 5:
The minister was very gentle in his recognition — “John, this is a dule day.”
Wgt. 1912  A.O.W.B. Fables frae French 90:
He thocht himsel the doolest dog alive.
Rxb. 1889  Ellis E.E.P. V. 714:
A dule mirk nicht an nae mune.

III. v.

1. tr. and intr. To lament, bewail. Also in n.Yks. dial. Abd. after 1768  A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd (S.T.S. 1938) ll. 783–4:
Then sat he down beneath this birn of wae, An' dool'd an' mourn'd.
Ayr. a.1878  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage, etc., and Poems (1892) 238:
Stout Wharrie spak' — “I dool'd the wrack O' a my heart hings on.”

2. To chastise. Fif. 1825  Jam.2:
I'll dool you, i.e. I will give you a drubbing.

[O.Sc. has dule, dul(l), etc., sorrow, grief, from 1375; doull, dool(e), from a.1585, also attrib. = mourning, 1609, and adj. doolie, from c.1470. The former [døl] forms, corresponding to Mid.Eng. dol(e), originate in Fr. dol; the latter [du:l] forms are appar. later borrowings from E.M.E. dool(e). See note to Doilt.]

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"Dool n.1, adj., v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2019 <>



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