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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GALASHIELS, n. Also †Gallo-, †Galacheils, shortened form Gala, locally for the town and in sense 3. In Combs. †1. Galashiels blue(s), a coarse woollen cloth of a blue colour; sometimes known simply as blue claith; 2. Galashiels cut system, a system of worsted yarn measurement for expressing the relationship between weight and length of yarn in a Cut, now adopted as the standard from the practice of Galashiels mills (Sc. 1947 per Messrs Patons and Baldwins, Ltd.); †3. Galashiels grey(s), = 1., but of a grey colour; also attrib.; †4. Galashiels heron, a nickname given by the boys of Selkirk to a Galashiels boy; †5. Galashiels lawin, see quot. See also Lawin.1. Edb. 1803 T. Heriot Letter (1 June):
I refused giving an order . . . for Galashiels light blues.
3. Sc. 1733 P. Lindsay Interest of Scot. 106:
At Galloshiels are made a few coarse Kerseys, called Galloshiels Grays, for Home-consumpt.
Rxb. 1738 in Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1921) 4:
It is interesting to find him next year writing to a business correspondent in the “old country” to send “Galacheils Gray at 6d or 7d per ell, to be here in September or October for winter only.”
Slk. 1784 A. Wight Husbandry III. 8:
A sort of woollen cloth made there, termed Galashiels gray, is in great request; the price from twenty-pence to two shillings per yard.
Slk. 1828 Hogg in Blackwood's Mag. (Jan.) 40:
I have seen too much of life to be directed in these [matters] by a petty dealer in Galashiels gray-cloth, corduroy breeches, and worsted stockings.
Per. 1856 Edb. Ev. Courant (22 Nov.): 
On worsted goods, galas and stripes, very few [hands] are making less than 24s. per week.
Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (10 April) 419:
There's naething looks better than Galashiels grey — It haps the warm hearts now the toast o' the day.
Sc. 1886 T. Craig-Brown Hist. Slk. I. 565:
The immediate progenitor of the cloth known throughout the world as “Scotch Tweed” was . . . Galashiels grey.
4. Slk. c.1840 Sc. N. & Q. (1st Series) IV. 54:
The Galashiels' herons, lockit in a box, Daurna show their heads for the Selkirk game cocks.
5. s.Sc. 1827 R. Chambers Picture Scot. I. 74, Note:
“A Galashiels lawin” is applied, when every individual pays his share, probably in allusion to the mechanical accuracy of the worthy manufacturers.

[From Galashiels in Selkirkshire, where the cloth was manufactured.]

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"Galashiels n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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