Last modified on 8 December 2014, at 10:30

byspel

EnglishEdit

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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English bispel, byspell, from Old English, bīspel, biġspel (proverb, parable, example, story), from bī- (by) + spel (talk, story), equivalent to by- +‎ spell. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Bispil (example), Middle Dutch bijspel (proverb, parable), Low German bispeel (example), German Beispiel (example). More at by-, spell.

NounEdit

byspel (plural byspels)

  1. (obsolete outside UK dialects) A proverb.
    • 1845, Henry Hammond, A paraphrase and annotations upon all the books of the New :
      [...] signifies a byword or proverb, or, as it is still used in the north, byspell.
  2. (now chiefly dialectal) An example.
    • 2011, Michael Everson, The Oxford English Dictionary on eð:
      I don't like using ð for most words at the beginning of the word simply because ð looks like a d and huru Ð looks like a D and would encourage people using the “d” instead of “th” for byspel: “dat” instead of “that” … and others.
  3. (obsolete outside UK dialects, by extension) A person used as an example, either positively or negatively; one who has become a byword for any remarkable quality.
  4. (obsolete outside UK dialects) An exceptional or wonderful character.
  5. (obsolete outside UK dialects) A family outcast; bastard.
    • 2001, Peter Novobatzky, Ammon Shea, Depraved and Insulting English:
      "The byspel of his rich and landed clan, young Norton lived alone in a shed, by the woods on the edge of the estate. [...]"
    • 1897, Lord Ernest William Hamilton, The Outlaws of the Marches:
      Angus, in particular, I thought was none too well beloved of many present, and the King’s dislike of him was as marked and clear to all as was his liking for his cousin Lord Bothwell; for cousins they surely were in spite of my lord’s father being but a byspell so to speak.
  6. (obsolete outside UK dialects) An accidental piece of good fortune; a wonderful stroke of luck or dexterity.
  7. (obsolete outside UK dialects) A mischievous person (usually applied to youngsters); an awkward figure.
  8. (obsolete outside UK dialects) A natural child.

Usage notesEdit

  • Neither this term nor any of its alternative forms can be found in COCA or BNC, two of the largest corpora of contemporary usage, American and British respectively.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Wright, The English dialect dictionary, Byspel(l).

AnagramsEdit


ScotsEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old English biġspel, bīspel (example, pattern, proverb), from bī- (by) + spel (tale, story), compare Old High German bīspel (German Beispiel)

NounEdit

byspel (plural byspels)

  1. a rarety, someone or something of rare, unique, or exceptional qualities (often used ironically)
    She's just a byspale.
    • a 1811, reported in Jameson.
      He's nae byspel mair than me.
      He's no better than me.

AdverbEdit

byspel

  1. very, extraordinarily, exceedingly, exceptionally
    byspel weel ("very well")