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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

SAUL, n., int. Also saal, sal(l). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. soul. For other forms see Sowl. [sǫl, sɑl]

I. n.

Sc. form of Eng. soul.m.Sc. 1979 Walter Perrie in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 83:
It's no the days,
sair tho they are,
but gantan nicht
I canna thole -
Lang, dreich tyauvan
wi a festert saul.
Dmf. 1979 Ron Butlin in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 35:
But shaw's insteid the mirror o yer saul
that yet can haud the haill warld an mair
in image o yer love fer ither men
fair ootbleezin thon electric glare.
m.Sc. 1991 Tom Scott in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 37:
Whit's aa your Art but a vaigin in the mirk
By the saul launcht oot frae its lang ootworn kirk
And batterit by the typhoon's rage and roar?

Sc. usages:

1. As in Eng. Also in various asseverative or expletive phrs. (by) my saul, (for the) saul o' me, good saul, saul to gude (I.Sc., Cai., Bnff., Ags., Lnk., Wgt. 1969). Ppl.adj. -saul't, -souled. Deriv. saulfu, the “fill” of a soul, enough to fill the soul.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 157:
A hooded Friar . . . came up; good Saul! Him Satan cleek'd up by the Spaul.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 92:
They trail'd him ben, an' by my saul, He paid his drunken groat.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Holy Fair xx.:
The lads an' lasses, blythely bent To mind baith saul an' body.
Rnf. 1806 R. Tannahill Poems (1835) 71:
'Tis also said, our noble Prince, Has play'd the wee saul't loon for ance.
Slk. 1824 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) 364:
For the saul o' me I durstna take the book.
Dmf. 1826 A. Cunningham Paul Jones III. iii.:
Saul to gude, lass, but your gudeman has a pretty handful o' ye.
Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 204:
“Saul o' me, 'oman”, would Jock exclaim, when patience had reached its limit.
Lnk. 1890 J. Coghill Poems 91:
What's life but a saulfu o' sorrows?
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 95:
My sall! Ye'll hear ferlies untauld in the toun.
Ork. 1908 Old Lore Misc. I. v. 174:
Bi me sa'l, sheu wis a strappin' lass.
Abd. 1928 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 40:
Three hoolets cryin' wi' ghaistly squall, — They sped her saul.

2. Spirit, mettle, courage. Hence saulless, saules, of persons: without spirit, lacking in courage or character; mean-spirited (Kcd. 1923); of things: exasperatingly bad, unpleasant, e.g. of weather (Abd. 1930).Rnf. 1755 Session Papers, Arthurlie v. Arthurlie (4 Aug.) 25:
Calling him several Times a Saul-less Bitch.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xlvi.:
If ye dinna eat instantly, and put some saul in ye.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
He has na hauf a saul, he has no spirit in him.
Gsw. 1868 J. Young Poems 162:
An easy-osy thrieveless [sic] coof, an' saulless as a rock.

II. int. As an exclam. of asseveration or emphasis: upon my word, by Jove! (I. and ne.Sc., Ags., Ayr. 1969).Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Journal 25:
Saul man, I began to think be this time that my disty-meiller wis near made.
Sc. 1752 Scotland's Glory (1805) 64:
Our common oaths are such as these: With fiend and deil, and soul and saal.
Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. iii.:
Saul, your honour, and that I am.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 107:
Sa'l I wad mak the cloods tae dunder.
Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister x.:
There was no mistaking wha he was preaching at. Sal! oh! losh; Tammas got it strong.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 207:
Sal! mistress, ye'll need to watch 'im the nicht.
Sc. 1950 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 112:
Sall, it wes titch an' go for a meenut.

[O.Sc. saul, soul, 1375.]

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"Saul n., interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/saul>

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