Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

BILL, n.1 Common Sc. for Eng. bull. [bɪl] The alternative form everywhere is [bʌl]. Abd. 1875  G. Macdonald Malcolm 1xii.:
“Freen' o' mine!” exclaimed the Partaness. “We gree like twa bills (bulls) i' the same park!”
wm.Sc. 1835  Laird of Logan II. 6:
Logan . . . cried out, “Rin into the house ye deevils! e'en the vera bill canna' stan' the sicht o' cards on the sabbath-day!”
Ayr. 1786  Burns Address to the Deil x.:
An' dawtet, twal-pint Hawkie's gane As yell's the Bill.
Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 49:
Nae twa were ever seen mair thick Than brawny an' the bill.
Uls. 1910  C. C. Russell People and Lang. of Uls. 25:
“Bull” (bool) becomes “bull,” as in “skull,” and finally “bill.”

Comb.: †bill-siller, the fine formerly imposed by the Kirk sessions in cases of fornication. Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems 23:
When right sair fleed, He gart them good Bill-siller pay.

[For change of vowel, see P.L.D. § 60.1.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Bill n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down