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quail2

[kweyl] /kweɪl/
verb (used without object)
1.
to lose heart or courage in difficulty or danger; shrink with fear.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle Dutch quelen, queilen
Related forms
unquailing, adjective
Synonyms
recoil, flinch, blench, cower. See wince1 .
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un-quailing

quail1

/kweɪl/
noun (pl) quails, quail
1.
any small Old World gallinaceous game bird of the genus Coturnix and related genera, having a rounded body and small tail: family Phasianidae (pheasants)
2.
any of various similar and related American birds, such as the bobwhite
Word Origin
C14: from Old French quaille, from Medieval Latin quaccula, probably of imitative origin

quail2

/kweɪl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to shrink back with fear; cower
Word Origin
C15: perhaps from Old French quailler, from Latin coāgulāre to curdle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for un-quailing
quail
c.1300, quayle, from O.Fr. quaille, perhaps via M.L. quaccula (cf. Prov. calha, It. quaglia, O.Sp. coalla), from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. quahtala "quail," Ger. Wachtel), imitative of the bird's cry. Or the Eng. word may be directly from Gmc. Slang meaning "young attractive woman" first recorded 1859.
quail
"to lose heart, to shrink," mid-15c., of unknown origin, perhaps from M.Du. quelen "to suffer, be ill," from P.Gmc. *kwel- "to die" (see quell). Or from obsolete quail "to curdle" (late 14c.), from O.Fr. coailler, from L. coagulare (see coagulate). Sense of "cower" is attested from 1550s. Common 1520-1650, then rare until 19c.; apparently revived by Scott.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for un-quailing

quail

noun
  1. An attractive young woman; chick: a lovely little quail from Arkansas (1859+ Students)
  2. A cornet or trumpet: Listen to that kid blow that quail (1950s+ Jazz musicians)
Related Terms

san quentin quail


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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