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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

YAVAL, adj., n., v. Also -el, -il, yaavel, -il; ¶yaul'd, and reduced vocalised form ¶yoll. [′jɑvəl]

I. adj. 1. Prostrate, laid low, flat on one's back and unable to rise, collapsed from insensibility, drink, etc. (Bnff., Abd. 1825 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 213), esp. of a sheep fallen over on its back (Bnff. 1966). Phr. ding-me-yaval, as an exclam. of dismay: “well, I'm blessed”, knock me down!Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Journal 25:
They may come to lay up my mittens an' ding me yavil.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 105:
Guid faith! gin ony ane Had offer'd an uncivil han' On me yaul'd to ha'e laid.
Abd. 1852 A. Robb Poems 127:
The beast lay yavil i' the spot.
Abd.5 1928:
His doggie gid in front o' his bike an' doon gid he yavil on the ground.
Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 17:
(Bowl falls from Andies' hand, and is smashed.) Andie (rising) — “Ding-me-yavel! Fat a coup ower.”

2. Of a crop of grain: grown for the second time on the same field, succeeding the ley-crop (see Lea, n.1, 2.), gen. with corn, crap, land (Ork. 1929 Marw., yaavel; ne.Sc. 1974). See also 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 179:
The lea was ploughed and sown with oats. This crop was called the “ley crap.” The next crop was also of oats, and was named the “yaavel crap.”
Abd. 1949 Huntly Express (22 July):
Lea and yaval crops are good.

3. Applied by extension to anything which occurs twice in succession, esp. in combs. (1) yavil bachelor, a widower (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 213); (2) yaval broth, second day's broth (Mry., Abd. 1921 T.S.D.C.; ne.Sc. 1974); (3) yaval ferra, -ferro, of a cow that has missed having a calf two seasons in succession (Abd. 1897 Trans. Bch. Field Club IV. 81).(2) Abd. 1888 Bon-Accord (7 Jan.) 16:
“Od, guidwife, thae broth are surely yaavul?” “The're waur than that — they were made last year.”
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 15:
An' yaval broth is nae for suppin' — A' soor as roddins in a nicht.
Abd. 1968 Buchan Observer (20 Aug.) 2:
Gweed yavel broth for denner we'd ha'e.
(3) Abd. 1924 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 442:
“Yaval ferro” means twice without a calf.

II. n. A second crop of grain in the same field as its predecessor (Mry. 1825 Jam.; Bnff., Abd. 1869 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 727; ne.Sc. 1974).Abd. 1923 J. Hunter MS. Diary (17 April):
Wm. Laing gathering knotgrass on yavel.
Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song 71, 88:
To start harrowing his yavil park. . . . The ley was cut, the yavil glowed yellow across the dykes.

III. v. 1. To lay low, knock down, fell, flatten to the ground, gen. in ppl.adj. yavalt, yavellt (Bnff. 1966).n.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
To yoll with an axe.
Abd. 1963 Huntly Express (1 Feb.) 8:
Poles, an' wires, an' even kiosks, war yavell't wi' the blast.

2. To take a second crop. See I. 2., II. Used fig. in quot.Abd. 1969:
Elderly farmer with a five year old daughter to a teacher who mistook her for his grand-daughter: “Na, she's my ain dother. I've yavalt (taken a second crop).”

[n.Sc. variant forms of Awal(d) adj., adv., Awald v. and Awal(d) n. See Y, letter, P.L.D. § 141.2. and etym. note to Awald n.]

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"Yaval adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Feb 2024 <>



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