Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
TANGLE, n., adj. Also tang(e)l (Sh.); taingle, and in sense I. 4. tankle. [tɑŋl, s.Sc. + teŋl; Per. tɑŋkl]
I. n. 1. Seaweed, esp. the larger varieties of Fucus, specif. Laminaria digitata or Laminaria saccharina, which are edible (Sc. 1799 Trans. Highl. Soc. I. 11.; Ork. 1845 T. Edmonston Flora Sh. 54; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 269; Uls. 1953 Traynor Gl.). Gen.Sc.; the long stalk and strap-like fronds of this (Ags. 1813 J. Headrick Agric. Ags. App. B. 35; Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1721 A Man and his Mare 14:
With Dilse and Tangles, which in Store grew, In South Sea, tho' no Man the Shore knew. Per. 1737 Ochtertyre Ho. Bk. (S.H.S.) 25:
For dulce and tangle . . . 1d. Ayr. 1786 Burns Brigs of Ayr 224–5:
His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd, His manly leg with garter-tangle bound. Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour 41:
Drying and burning the great tangle or red-ware during winter. Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 199:
I soum'd to a black rock, an threw a tangle owre my head, keeping my body unner water, — sae they searcht for me in vain. Ork. 1874 Trans. Highl. Soc. 65:
Its long stalk, or “tangle”, is the most valuable part of the plant for the manufacture of kelp. Edb. 1881 J. Smith Jenny Blair 56:
“Dulse an' tangle”, “Wulks an' buckies”. Sh. 1900 Shetland News (6 Oct.):
Whin da run gengs oot try an' get haud o' da tangle. wm.Sc. 1953 Scots Mag. (May) 89:
Lobsters never leave the shore the whole year round, only some of the time they are in the tangle. Abd. 1961 P. Buchan Mount Pleasant 23:
Buchaners, on the warpath, swingin' tangles roon their heids.
Combs.: (1) ca(i)rn-tangle, = (2), of which it is appar. a corruption (Abd., Kcd. 1825 Jam.); (2) carl-tangle, = 1., esp. Laminaria digitata (Kcd. 1825 Jam.; Bnf. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 22). See Carle, n.1, 4.; (3) sea-tangle, = 1. Also attrib. = covered with tangle; (4) tangle-bree, the juice or sap of sea-weed. See Bree, n.1; (5) tangle-fish, the pipe-fish, Syngnathus acus (Sc. 1859 W. Yarrell Fishes II. 400), from its being freq. found under tangle; (6) tanle-weed, = 1.; (7) tangle-wreck, id.
(3) Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss Hags lii.:
Certain ill-set persons were carrying away sea-tangle from his foreshore. Sc. 1937 E. Muir Journeys & Places 11:
The black sea-tangle heaches. (4) Abd. 1961 P. Buchan Mount Pleasant 66:
The cry o' whaup at the watter-mou', An' the smell o' tangle-bree. (6) m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 37:
Whaur the stanes are green wi' moss, And the tangle weeds are plenty. (7) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 165:
Plenisht with nought but Shells and Tangle-Wreck.
2. Fig.: a tall, lanky person (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., n.Sc. 1972).
Abd. 1778 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 22:
She's but a tangle, tho' shot out she be. Ags. 1840 G. Webster Ingliston xxix.:
I mind him a lang tangle o' a prentice callan. m.Lth. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller iii.:
The misses are useless tangles. Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 11:
That lang, dirty, hungry, scrawpit-lookin' tangle o' a chap. Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxiii.:
Een o' them wis a thin tangle o' a chiel.
3. A golf club with a long slender shaft.
Sc. 1891 J. G. M'Pherson Golf & Golfers 52:
Longer and suppler clubs, though not “tangles.”
4. An icicle (w.Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Vocab. 5: Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Bwk. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 311, Per. 1928, tankle; ne.Sc., Ags., Knr., Fif. 1972). See also Ice, 2. (7).
Sc. 1710 R. Sibhald Hist. Fife (1803) 322:
An iron-stone, which in its concave produceth much vitriol, this dropping falls down like tangles and impregnates the water. Sc. 1775 Weekly Mag. (26 Jan.) 208:
The tangles lang hang frae the roof. Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 77:
Frae ilka buss, the tangles gay Hang skinklin' in the mornin' ray. Per. 1888 R. Ford Glentoddy 36:
His taes were as cauld as tankles. Ags. 1945 S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 41:
It wiz a nicht o' bitter black frost; ootside the tangles hung a yaird lang. Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick iii.:
Naething noo bit tangles abeen yer heid an, slidder aneth yer feet.
II. adj. Long and limp, lank and loose-jointed (Fif., Slk. 1825 Jam.), applied to one whose body is relaxed due to extreme fatigue (Slk. 1825 Jam.).
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) I. 291:
She was perfectly weak and tangle, her limbs being scarcely able to bear her weight.
Derivs.: (1) tangle-backit, having a long, lank, flexible back. Cf. tankard-backet s.v. Tanker; (2) tanglelike, lanky, gangling (Fif. c.1850 Peattie MS.); (3) tangleness, flaccidity of opinion, indecision, wavering; (4) tanglewise, long and slender (Lnk. 1825 Jam.); (5) tanglie, -y, id.
(1) Sc. 1896 L. Keith Indian Uncle x.:
Ye were aye yin o' the tangle-backit kind. (3) Slk. 1819 Hogg Jacob. Relics I. 102:
Donald's the callan that brooks nae tangleness. (5) Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 57:
An' tho' our tribes deficient far, For tanglie taperin' tails. Per. 1898 C. Spence Poems 141:
A tangly tappin for a rod He in his nervous right hand claspit.
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"Tangle n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/tangle>
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