Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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EELA, n. Rod-fishing (esp. for coalfish) from small boats anchored in smooth water between the shore and the tidal current (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh.10, Sh.11 1949), also applied to the place where such fishing is going on (Sh. 1825 Jam.2; 1866 Edm. Gl.). Also ¶ella (Sh. 1898 Sh. News (30 July)); eella (Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 2); iela (Edm.); ila (Jak.); ela; ile (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 75; Rs. (Avoch) 1919 T.S.D.C. III. 23). [′ilə] Sh. 1836  A. B. in Gentleman's Mag. II. 589:
I nevvir gat sek an a flegg i ma lyfe insep e nycht kummin fre da ela, itt I mett Tammie o' Skae.
Sh. 1899  J. Spence Folk-Lore 126:
It came to pass, however, on a fair September night that they landed from the piltik eela, intending to make an early start for the ling raiths.
Sh. 1949  New Shetlander No. 16. 11:
Da eela fishing for sillicks and pilticks on the inshore grounds is also carried on by men and boys in open boats, using waands and flees.

Comb.: eelasten, ilasten, the stone used as an anchor at the eela (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), ila-; 1914 Angus Gl., eela-).

[From Norw. dial. ila, Norw. ile, O.N ili, stone used as an anchor, with extension of meaning.]

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"Eela n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Nov 2019 <>



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