Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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COLL, Cole, Kole, Koll, Koil, v. Cf. Cow, v.1 [kɔl, kol Sc., but I.Sc. + kɔil (kɔil now less common than kol (Jak.))]

1. To cut, to hollow out, to shape (Sc. 1887 Jam.6, coll; Kcb.1 1937, cole); “to taper a thing by clipping or paring” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kole); “to shape or take in (a garment)” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., cole). Ppl.adj. coled. Abd. 1936 9 :
Coll oot the neck o' that blouse a bit.
Dmf. 1810  R. H. Cromek Rem. Nithsd. and Gall. Song 208:
High-coled stockings and laigh-coled shoon.

2. To clip, trim, take off the top or ends, e.g. “to coll the hair, to poll it” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); to remove the horns of cattle. Also fig. Ppl.adj . kollet; cf. Cullyat. Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
Of a hard storm it is said: “hit is enough to blaw de horns aff o' a kollet coo.”
Sh.(D) 1916  J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr, Jöne 7:
Ye may get da warst tump frae a coo, whin shö's koillet.
Ags. c.1920 ,
(per Slg.3):
Cole the wick of the lamp.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Sir A. Wylie I. xxx.:
It's a kind o' a book that I hae a thought anent; but . . . it wouldna be the waur o' being coll'd and kaim't by an experienced han' like yours.

[O.Sc. coll, to cut hair, to snuff a candle, to cut obliquely, to trim, from 1598 (D.O.S.T.); northern Mid.Eng. coll(e), to poll, clip, 1483. Origin uncertain. Prob. related to O.N. kollr, top, shaven crown, and kollóttr, without horns, with shaven crown, having the hair cut short (Zoëga). Cf. Norw. kolla, a cow without horns, and kollet, hornless, bald. Kollet is prob. really an adj. from O.N. kollóttr, but with the development of the verb meaning in Sc. it has become assimilated in form to the pa.p.]

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"Coll v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Dec 2018 <>



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