Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HAILSOME, adj. Also hal(e)some; healsom(e); †helsom; halesom; haelsome. Wholesome, sound, healthful (Sc. 1825 Jam.); useful. Gen.Sc. Also used fig. Abd. c.1692  A. Pitcairn Assembly (1722) 40:
That's a helsom Disease to be troubled in Spirit.
Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 25:
Roun'd in his Lug, That there was a Poor Country Kate, As halesom as the Well of Spaw, But unka blate.
Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (1925) 27:
What makes Auld Reikie's dames sae fair, It canna be the halesome air, But caller burn beyond compare.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Cotter's Sat. Night xi.:
The healsome Porritch, chief of Scotia's food.
Sc. 1826  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1863) I. 223:
Pigeon-pies . . . being the maist hailsome o' a' bird-pies whatsomever.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb v.:
Hoot, min, dinna spull the gweed clean, halesome water — skowff't oot!
Gsw. 1877  A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 200:
An' weel the world's tinsel shows his halesome muse withstuid.
Uls. 1900  A. McIlroy Craig-Linnie Burn 23:
If ye wud agree tae stap the tay a' thegither, an' tak' what's halesome.
m.Sc. 1917  J. Buchan Poems 26:
At halesome fauts they lift their han'.

Hence healsomeness, wholesomeness. Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian ix.:
He . . . thinks as muckle about the form of the bicker as he does about the healsomeness of the food.

[Hail, adj., + -some; O.Sc. hal(e)sum, etc., id., from c.1420.]

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"Hailsome adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2019 <>



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