Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
CALLER, CAULER, Callar, Cawler, Cauller, adj. and v. [′kɑlər Sc.; m.Sc. + ′klər]
(1) Applied to fish, vegetables, etc.: fresh, just caught or gathered. Also fig. Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1724–1727 Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) 90:
Caller nowt feet in a plate. Sc. 1818 S. E. Ferrier Marriage (1819) II. xi.:
Gin ye had brought me a leg o' gude mutton, or a cauler sawmont, there would hae been some sense in't. Sc. 1933 E. S. Haldane Scotland of our Fathers xi.:
There were various street cries early in the century. . . . But the very beautiful “caller 'ou” was the best known. Oysters were always popular, and in 1817 they could be had from the fishwives for twelve a penny. Abd.(D) 1920 C. Murray In the Country Places 29:
I fain would dook in Dee aince mair An' clatter doon the Market stair, — O the caller dilse an' partans there! Abd. 1938 16 :
In Aberdeen, the cries of “Caller herrin'” and “Caller dulse” are occasionally still to be heard in the streets: “Fresh herrin', caller herrin', two a penny!” Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Songs (ed. Rogers 1905) 164:
Wha'll buy my caller herrin'? Edb.  J. Smith Poems, etc. (1869) 304:
Four bunch a penny, the bonnie caller radishes! Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) II. 331:
Do ye think . . . that a man o' taste canna distinguish . . . sweet, callar, fresh lamb, frae auld crock mutton? In phr.: as caller as a kail-blade, very cool and fresh (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1938). Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary (1818) xxi.:
They hae contrived queer tirlie-wirlie holes, that gang out to the open air, and keep the stair as caller as a kail-blade.
(2) Applied to air, water, etc.: cool, fresh, refreshing. Still widely known in Mod.Sc.
Sc. 1724–1727 Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) 66:
When e'er the sun grows high and warm, We'll to the cauler shade remove. Sc. 1896 R. L. Stevenson Weir of Hermiston v.:
And dry your bonny hair in the caller wind o' the muirs. L.Bnff.(D) 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 21:
I' the yaird, richt clean an' caller, Smells the yird the beadle turns. Knr.  “H. Haliburton” Horace in Homespun (1925) 215:
But the loch's cauler gleam, I see it in my dream.
Hence callerness, freshness.
wm.Sc. 1835–1837 Laird of Logan II. 115:
The smell whereof is very pleesant and refreshing in the callerness of morning.
(3) Healthy, vigorous (Abd.2, Lnl.1, Lnk.3 1938).
Sh.(D) 1886 “G. Temple” Britta 34:
Dere was twa young birds in't the last time I gaed doun — twa yallow caller things, about da size o' hens, an' wi' beaks aye gapin' an' cryin' for food. Abd.(D) 1767 R. Forbes Jnl. from London (1869) 17:
But the third [girl] wis a cauller, swack bit o' beef. Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Fruits of Time Parings 4:
She's just as cawler as a trout Tho' five an' fifty. m.Sc. 1922 “O. Douglas” Ann and her Mother vi.:
Robbie was such a caller baby, so fat and good-natured and thriving. Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 129:
A cauler young widow, plump, rosy, an' fair.
2. v. To freshen, cool. Known to Bnff.2 and Abd. correspondents (1938).
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxviii.:
“The night,” she said, “was fair abune head — a night amang the heather wad caller our bloods.”
Vbl.n. callerin in phr. callerin o' the blade, the freshening and cooling of the grass by a shower of rain. Known to Bnff.2 1938. MacTaggart in Gallov. Encycl. gives this s.v. calledin' o' the blade, but this is prob. a misprint for callerin'.
Bch. 1930 (per Abd.15):
We'd be a heap the better o' a skyte rain for the callerin o' the blade.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Caller adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/caller>
Try an Advanced Search