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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GOMEREL, n. Also gom(m)eril, -al, gomerel, -al, ‡gam(me)rel; obs. forms gomrel(l), -al, gowmeril, gaumeril, gammoral, gummeril, gumral; and corrupt or erroneous forms gomerkal, grummerat. [′gɔm(ə)rəl]

1. A fool, a stupid person (Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xxxi., gaumeril; Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 176, gowmeril; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 71, gummeril; Uls. 1896 M. Hamilton Across an Uls. Bog 17, gomerkal). (Cai., Bnff., Abd., Ags., Edb., Dmb., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s). Gen.Sc. Common in n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1806 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 696:
Drauntin' gomrals — in a swarm, Oure the hip o' Whigray's hill.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxxviii.:
Halliday's a liar, and ye're a gomeril to hearken till him, Cuddie.
Ayr. 1834 Galt Lit. Life III. xiv.:
Very few young men departed this life in it, which, I thought with other gammorals, must be owing to not a doctor biding in all the bounds.
Slk. 1835 Hogg Wars Montrose III. 104:
It is best to pit sic a gomerel out o' pain.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 86:
Ye haiverin' gomeral! D' ye want me tae lat an 'oman brak 'er neck?
Fif. 1893 “G. Setoun” Barncraig v.:
The gommeril kens neither law nor Latin.
Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 36:
He wus sic a gomeral nae lass wud tak him.
Uls. 1927 St J. Ervine Wayward Man 92:
Robert looked after him until he was out of sight. “You oul' gomeril!” he said under his breath.
m.Sc. 1944 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 121:
Look whaur you're goin', you damned gomeril, or you'll burst your bloomin' tyres on the broken gless.
e.Lth. 1983 Mollie Hunter The Dragonfly Years (1989) 30:
'As for you bein' a writer,' she said genially, 'that might be true and it might no'. But you're still a right daft wee gomeril, because the only kind o' Queen I'll ever be is Queen o' Hearts to my bairns; and to my man, my John!'
m.Sc. 1986 Colin Mackay The Song of the Forest 172:
"Uruisg!" she shouted again in a moment's lull. "The Soldier! He has the strength of twenty! Call the Soldier, you gaping old gomeril!"
Uls. 1987 Sam Hanna Bell Across the Narrow Sea 33:
'There's gommerils that have crossed into Ireland whose only ploughing has been a furrow across some guid Christian thrapple.'
wm.Sc. 1988 Robin Jenkins Just Duffy 37:
It shouldn't be difficult to talk a gomeril like Duffy into cashing this slip.
Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 47:
Aifter aa is said and deen, her faither, big Jake wis a proper gomeral and her mither wis twopence short of the shilling.

2. Used attrib. = foolish, stupid.Slk. 1818 Hogg Wool-gatherer (1874) 70:
We dinna believe in a' the gomral fantastic bogles an' spirits that fley light-headed fock.
Cai. 1829 J. Hay Poems 137:
Unto the room the young folks bruised Wi' gumral sport and chatter.
Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 329:
Wi' whittles Jamie ne'er was rash, Our legs and arms to cut and slash; . . . Now we maun thole ilk gamrell hash, Since Jamie's gane.
s.Sc. 1838 Wilson's Tales of the Borders IV. 276:
Kists and coffins, ye gomeril woman! — why, that's a packman.

3. “One whose lower front teeth project beyond the upper when the mouth is closed” (Ork.1 1943). Also attrib.Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 31:
Tae buy heevin wi' a grummeral sheep or a auld coo wus a aisy wey nae doot, bit wus hid a seur wey?

[Goam, in sense of “gaze about vacantly”, + suff. -rel s.v. -le, suff. 2, as in Gamphrell, Gangrel, etc.]

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



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