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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DEVAL, v. and n. Also devall, devaul, devawl, devaal, dewal, and corrupt forms devauld (Sc. 1868 G. Webster Strathbrachan 257), deva(a)ld (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 243); dewald (Mry. 1930 A. Rose W.-L.); devalge (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); devalve (Ib., 1942 Zai; Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.); develve (Patterson), devolve (Bwk.2 1948; Lnk. 1949 (per Mearns 6)); devol, glossed inaccurately as 'to deviate' (Ags. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.). Forms with di- are -also found. Gen. (exc. I.) Sc. [də′vɑ:l, -′vǫl, -′vɑld(ʒ), -′vɑ(l)v Sc., but Cai. -′wɑ:l]

1. v. To stop, cease, leave off. Freq. of rain or snow. Also in n.Eng. dial.Sc. ? 1827 Scott Letters (1936) X. 183:
Except about three or four hours for food and exercise I have not till today devaled from my task.
Crm. 1933 D. A. Mackenzie in Letter (7 July):
Devall was common in my boyhood. When youngsters made a noise, grannie would exclaim, “Bairns, bairns, will ye no devall?”
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 37:
It dang on sax ooks delaverly on iver uppalt or dewalt.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 14:
Fin she devauled, there wis a wee wirm furlin on the bare mools afore her. She wis tuck-tuck-tuckin noo, fyle the littlins stood roon her, kennin naethin, luikin on dumfounert.
Bch. 1930 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (March) 104:
A . . . jist keepit 'im hard at it, an' 'e didna like to divall for fear o' the idders gettin a lauch at 'im.
Fif. 1894 J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 21:
He . . . wad hae turned up the stair again, but the thocht o' her never-devalvin' tongue was eneuch.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 58:
Devall then, Sirs, and never send For daintiths to regale a friend.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ayrshire Legatees ix.:
Becky, will you never devawl wi' your backbiting.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 15:
Never devaaldin ti crack prood an massy aboot its bonnie bits an its history.

2. n. Cessation, stop (Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry, Gl.; Bnff.2 Abd.2, Abd.9 1940).Sc. 1991 William Wolfe in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 65:
Glower o sun an snell wund drocht thaim sair an
Bluid an watter crine on peths wi nae devaul.
L.Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 34:
Fae morn tae nicht there's nae devaal Fae trauchlin aye an' tyaavin.
Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My ain Folk 88:
Fat for wud he gar creaturs gae on wi' nae deval till they war blin' and dottl't w' leernin'?
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 63:
Hard on the chap o ten, ilkie nicht wioot devaul, he'd traivel frae room tae room, wyndin up aa the clocks, aince he'd snibbit the front door.
Bch. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 25:
The third week at Wasterton It rained withoot deval.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xiv.:
His tongue gaed like the clapper o' a kail bell withoot devald.
Hdg. 1885 J. Lumsden Rhymes and Sk. 239:
Dod Denam, Will Whitelaw, an' a' the lave o' the lads an' halflins belanging to the place hae been workin' 'ithoot devald an' makin' ready.

[The orig. meaning of devale, deval(l), dewall, etc., in O.Sc. is to move downwards, to descend, found from 1456; the meaning of “to cease” appears only once, c.1540; from O.Fr. deval(l)er, Mod.Fr. dévaler, to go or let down, from O.Fr. dé-, down, + val, valley. For change of [d] to [dȝ] in form devalge, see Rxb. W.-B. Intro. § 23 (A) and cf. Dad, n.2, 3, and Dadge, n.1]

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"Deval v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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