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English[edit | edit source]

Alternative forms[edit | edit source]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

From Middle Inglis bispel, byspell, from Old English, bīspel, biġspel (proverb, parable, example, story), from bī- (by) + spel (talk, story), equivalent to Script error: The function "template_prefix" does not exist.. Cognate with Middle Dutch bijspel (proverb, parable), Low German bispeel (example), German Beispiel (example). More at by-, spell.

Noun[edit | edit source]

byspel (plural Wt/sco/byspels)

  1. Template:Wt/sco/obsolete 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. Template:Wt/sco/obsolete 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.
    • 2011, EnglishGBTranslation
      As byspel, encyclopædia instead of encyclopaedia; ... As byspel, færie is actually wrong, thus faerie should be used.
  3. Template:Wt/sco/obsolete A person used as an example, either positively or negatively; one who has become a byword for any remarkable quality.
  4. Template:Wt/sco/obsolete An exceptional or wonderful character.
  5. Template:Wt/sco/obsolete 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. [...]"
  6. Template:Wt/sco/obsolete An accidental piece of good fortune; a wonderful stroke of luck or dexterity.
  7. Template:Wt/sco/obsolete A mischievous person (usually applied to youngsters); an awkward figure.
  8. Template:Wt/sco/obsolete A natural child.

Usage notes[edit | edit source]

  • 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 terms[edit | edit source]

Related terms[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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

Anagrams[edit | edit source]

Scots[edit | edit source]

Alternative forms[edit | edit source]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

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

Noun[edit | edit source]

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.

Adverb[edit | edit source]

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