Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TOWAL, n. A horse-leech. Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 229:
The horse-leeches . . . continue sucking so long as they can get a drop of blood, while the life-stream flows out of their nether end, whence the name “Towals”, or tails, leeches at either end.

[A reduced form of gill-towal, s.v. Gell, n.4 For towal cf. the second element in Gael. deal-tholl, a leech, from deala, id., + toll, to bore, a hole, hollow.]

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"Towal n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <>



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