Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BLEEZE, Bleise, n.1 Gen.Sc. forms of St.Eng. blaze, n. The form blaze is also found in Sc. [bli:z, ble:z Sc.; ble1:z Ags.] The following are distinctively Sc. usages:

1. “A torch, esp. used when spearing fish” (Abd.2, Abd.9 1934). Ags. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XII. 294; Ayr. 1934 (per Kcb.1):
The black-fishers . . . wade up and down upon the shallows, preceded by a great torch, or blaze, as it is called.

2. “A bonfire, esp. in phr. Halloweven blaze” (Ags.2 1934).

3. †“A signal made by fire. In this sense it is still used at some ferries, where it is customary to kindle a bleise, when a boat is wanted from the opposite side” (Sc. 1808 Jam.).

4. Combs.: (1) Bleeze-money, “the gratuity given to schoolmasters by their pupils at Candlemas; when he or she, who gives most, is proclaimed king or queen, and is considered as under obligation to invite the whole school, that is, all the subjects for the time being” (Lth., Rxb. 1825 Jam.2). Also known to Kcb.1 1934. See also Candlemas-bleeze s.v. Candlemas. w.Dmf. 1899  J. Shaw Country Schoolmaster 344:
Bleeze-money, money presented to the teacher at Candlemas. Some old people recollect when candles were lighted as a part of the ceremony.
Rxb. 1902  Hist. Hawick from 1832 70:
In Mr Murray's time [a.1853] the scholars used to give a donation to the teacher at Candlemas which was known as “Bleeze Money,” he in return giving a football. [Cf. O.Sc. blese-, bleis-silver, a gratuity at Candlemas (1598). (See D.O.S.T.)]

(2) Bleeze-money day, the day — i.e. Candlemas — on which bleeze-money was given. Rxb. 1908  Hawick Arch. Soc. Trans. 73/2:
“Barring out day” became better known [c.1840] as “bleeze-money day,” on account of a voluntary contribution on the part of the children towards the upkeep of fires in the school during the winter season.

5. Phrases: (1) in a bleeze (blaze), see quots.; (2) to gae to bleeze, to go to perdition, “blazes”; (3) to have a bleise, see quot. (1) Bnff. 1928 2 ;
1 :
Corn is in a bleeze when the whole field is suddenly ripe.
Abd. 1914  T.S.D.C. I.:
“Yer neeps are in a blaze” — ready to be thinned.
(2) Bnff. 1909  Bnffsh. Jnl. (29 Dec.) 3;
2 :
An' gabbin' Churchy an' his lees Wi' a' the crew may gang to bleeze Free Trade an' a'.
(3) n.Sc. 1808  Jam.:
In the North of S. a stranger, if the fire be low, is asked if he would have a bleise; i.e. the fire kindled up by furze, broom, or any brushwood that burns quickly, so as to give a strong heat.

[The form bleeze comes from O.Sc. blese, a bright flame or torch (Barbour's Brus 1375), O.E. (late) blese, bleose, id. Blaze comes from O.Sc. blase, blaize, with meaning as in 1 above, see D.O.S.T.; O.E. blæse, blase, a torch.]

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"Bleeze n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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