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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HALE, v., n. Also hail(l). [he:l]

I. v. 1. To haul, drag, pull (up) forcibly, as of mooring ropes, fishing lines, etc. (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh., ne.Sc. 1956). Now obs., arch. or dial. in Eng.Sc. 1706 Mare of Collingtoun in Watson Choice Coll. i. 40:
Then in a Grief he did her hail, And drugged both at Main and Tail.
Gsw. 1714 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 525:
That all ships that are livered immediately haill out of the way. [1717 Ib. (1909) 17, hale.]
Abd. 1764 Aberdeen Jnl. (21 May):
Going out of the harbour of Aberbrothick, in a fishing boat, to hale their lobster nets.
Sh. 1822 S. Hibbert Descr. Shet. 512:
Whan we had sitten a while, we tuik wir bow and began to hail.
Bnff. 1887 W. M. Philip Covedale 78:
Thrones o' kings knockit into flinders and kings and queens haled oot and butchered like nowt.
Abd. 1891 R. Kirk N. Sea Shore iii.:
Dinna ye think we should be halin' the lines?
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 88:
If da wind staands, hit wid gie wis better hailin'. Da nort tide 'ill be in be dat time.
ne.Sc. 1950 Scots Mag. (April) 58:
For they've nae eese for a sorry chiel that cwidna haill a net.
ne.Sc. 1992 Sheila Douglas ed. The Sang's the Thing: Voices from Lowland Scotland 247:
This night watchman - if we wis comin hame fae the toon - he wad say, "Oh loons, gie's a hand tae hale this net".

Phr. and Combs.: (1) hailin kabe, the thole-pin over which a fishing line is hauled in (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1956); (2) hailin muff, a fisherman's mitten used to protect the hands when hauling (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1956); †(3) to haill a hundred, of a weaver: to take away by stealth, to filch a hundred threads from the warping yarn. See Hunder.(3) Sc. 1715 A. Pennecuik Works 92:
I ken your Warping and your winding, To haill a Hundred by the Side.

2. To flow copiously, run down, pour off (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ork. 1929 Marw.). Gen. used with ref. to heavy rain or perspiration (Uls. 1924 W. Lutton Montiaghisms; Sh., Abd., m.Lth. 1956). Also found in Nhb., Cum. and Lin. dials.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 67:
An' they are posting on whate'er they may, Baith het an' meeth, till they are haleing down.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 57:
Thou's gotten skaith, some auld wife has witcht thee . . . the sweat is hailing o'er thy nose.
Sc. 1832 W. Motherwell Poems (1849) 22:
Het tears are hailin' ower your cheek, And hailin' ower your chin.
Sh. 1899 Shetland News (25 Nov.):
He wis yarkin oot da paets an' da swaet holin' [sic] aff o'm.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
The sweet was fair hailin' off iz.

II. n. 1. A haul (esp. of fish), the hauling in of nets.Sc. 1757 R. Maxwell Pract. Husbandman 151:
I opened a passage in the lining and made a Contrivance to shut it before I let in the Dog and by that means I get a Hale [of rats].
Sh. 1888 Edmonston & Saxby Home Naturalist 96:
When the fishing season was at its height, and the boats were making “gude hales,” it frequently happened that the presents became very embarrassing in quantity.
Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 243:
Efter we set aff fir a mornin' hail, I lays me doon i' da fore head i' da bight o' da sail.

2. A profusion, copious flow (of sweat). Cf. I. 2. m.Lth. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 78:
Baith a' in a hail o' sweat.

 [O.Sc. hale, etc., to drag, from 1400, to flow down in a stream, 1513; Mid.Eng. hale, O.Fr. haler, id., of Teut. orig. Cf. Mid. Du. halen, to haul.]

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"Hale v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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