English

edit

Etymology

edit

From Middle English *squalen (not recorded) and squelen (to cry, scream, squall), from Old Norse skvala (to cry out), probably ultimately imitative with influence from squeal and bawl.

Cognate with Swedish skvala (to gush, pour down), Norwegian skval (sudden rush of water). The noun is probably from the verb.

Pronunciation

edit

Noun

edit

squall (plural squalls)

  1. (often nautical) A sudden storm, as found in a squall line.
    • 2001, Salman Rushdie, Fury: A Novel, London: Jonathan Cape, →ISBN, page 5:
      Luckily she wasn’t there any more, no one was, when he returned from the Caribbean carnival damp-hatted and soaked through after being caught unprepared by a squall of hard, hot rain.
    • 2019 February 27, Drachinifel, 10:57 from the start, in The Battle of Samar - Odds? What are those?[1], archived from the original on 3 November 2022:
      With reports of the Japanese forces bearing down on them confirmed, Rear Admiral Sprague orders his ships east, heading towards a series of rain squalls, hoping for concealment. This will hopefully delay the Japanese closing the range, and also draw them away from the much-more-vulnerable landing ships.
  2. (meteorology) A squall line, multicell line, or part of a squall line.
  3. A loud cry or wail.
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 34, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, →OCLC, page 163:
      But the third Emir, now seeing himself all alone on the quarter-deck, seems to feel relieved from some curious restraint; for, tipping all sorts of knowing winks in all sorts of directions, and kicking off his shoes, he strikes into a sharp but noiseless squall of a hornpipe right over the Grand Turk’s head; and then, by a dexterous sleight, pitching his cap up into the mizentop for a shelf, he goes down rollicking so far at least as he remains visible from the deck, reversing all other processions, by bringing up the rear with music.
    • 2023 August 17, Aditya Chakrabortty, “Can’t pay and they really do take it away: what happens when the bailiffs come knocking”, in The Guardian[2]:
      The media present rising prices as a passing squall for the middle class, brought on by Vlad ’n’ Liz and resulting in spiking mortgage rates and fewer trips to Waitrose. But beneath those headlines are millions of others for whom the problem isn’t rising prices, but falling incomes.

Derived terms

edit

Translations

edit

Verb

edit

squall (third-person singular simple present squalls, present participle squalling, simple past and past participle squalled)

  1. To cry or wail loudly.
    • 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, London, Paris: Cassell & Company, published 14 November 1883, →OCLC:
      Squalling was the word for it, Pew's anger rose so high at these objections; till at last, his passion completely taking the upper hand, he struck at them right and left in his blindness, and his stick sounded heavily on more than one.
    • 1916, Jack London, The Red One:
      Squalling like an infuriated cat, the shadow crashed down
    • 1934 October, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], Burmese Days, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, →OCLC:
      The orchestra burst into a sudden loud squalling.
    • 1938, Norman Lindsay, Age of Consent, 1st Australian edition, Sydney, N.S.W.: Ure Smith, published 1962, →OCLC, page 39:
      Some night-bird, belike, or a sea-gull squalling below the headland.
    • 1998, Anne McCafferey, Masterharper of Pern:
      she wrapped the squalling, wriggling baby tightly into the fine cotton sheet

Derived terms

edit

Descendants

edit
  • Russian: шквал (škval)
  • Ukrainian: шквал (škval)

Translations

edit

Further reading

edit