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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

OUTWALE, n., v. Also oot-, -wail, utwael (Sh.); -waal (Ork.); -wile, -wyle (n. and em.Sc.(a)). [′ut′wel, -′wəil; Ork., Uls. -′wɑ:l]

I. n. Gen. in pl.: those objects among a number for selection which are picked out for disposal or rejection, rejects, refuse, leavings (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh., Uls. 1964). Also attrib. and fig.Ags. 1790 A. Tait Poems 275:
And send the outwails to the fair.
Slk. 1824 Hogg Shep. Cal. xii.:
There were sae mony o' the out-wale wallie-tragle kind o' wooers there . . . that I got the back o' the hallan to keep.
m.Lth. 1829 G. Robertson Recoll. 170:
The best formed will be retained [for fattening] . . . and the out-wales only, disposed of as milchers, to the less curious in this point.

II. v. To select, pick out (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 120; Sc. 1880 Jam.). Vbl.n. ootwa(i)lin, -wilin, -wylin, gen. in pl. = I. (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; I. and ne.Sc. 1964).Sh. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 315:
“Dey gie me da ootwilins.” This is the complaint of one who has received nothing better than the refuse of an inheritance.
Cai. 1911 John o' Groat Jnl. (21 April):
I'll not take that; it's only a lot of outmailins [sic]. He's one of the outmailins o' creation.

[Out + Wale, n., v. For the Ork. form cf. Norw. dial. utval, choice, selection. O.Sc. outwaill, an outcast, 1470, to select, 1587.]

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"Outwale n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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