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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

KNOOL, v., n. Also nool, (k)nule, (k)noll, null, noal (Sh. 1898 Shetland News (3 Sept.)). [nul]

I. v. 1. tr. (1) To beat or strike, esp. with the knuckles or closed fist, to thrash, drub, pummel (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., noll; w.Sc. 1887 Jam.; Sh. 1899 Shetland News (7 Jan.)); to come against sharply; specif. in the game of Nags: to strike on the knuckles with a marble (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.). Also with down.Sc. 1785 F. Grose Vulgar Tongue (1788):
He nulled him heartily.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (24 Dec.):
Could you no a pu'd a stane oot o' da wa', an' nold her i' da skult wi't?
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 120:
Jeemie Tammie strak ower da tubs, an' Tammas didna see an' he nol'd his fit i' ane o' dem.

Hence in fig. usage, (k)noolt, (k)nuled, henpecked (Fif. 1825 Jam.), crushed, dispirited, dejected (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), nool'd-like, having a downtrodden or dejected appearance (Watson). Also in Nhb. dial.Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 67:
John hadna sic a nool't look the neist time the minister cam.

(2) To knead.Slk. 1832 Hogg Queer Book 61:
Knolling up the bread.
Per. 1902 E.D.D.:
The dough is knolled by being beaten with the knuckles.

2. intr. (1) In the game of Nags: to place the closed fist on the ground to be struck by the marbles of the other players (Sc. 1887 Jam.); (2) fig. to bow, yield, submit, fawn, cringe (Ib.). This meaning may be due to a misconception of knoolt above.

II. n. A strong push or blow with the knuckles, a thrust (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).

[Of Teut. orig., corresp. to Du. knullen, to squeeze in a caress, Ger. knüllen, knullen, to pummel. Cf. O.E. cnyllan, O.N. knylla, to beat, strike, Eng. knell.]

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"Knool v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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