One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounIrish English, English Regional, Scottish, Northern
A person or thing selected for removal or exclusion; a reject or outcast; refuse, dregs. Now usually in plural.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in The Siege of Jerusalem. From out- + wale. In Orkney and Shetland use probably partly from the unattested Norn cognate of Norwegian (Nynorsk) utval choice, selection from the Scandinavian base of Old Icelandic út- + the Scandinavian base of Old Icelandic val.
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