Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GILSE, n. Variant form of Grilse, a young salmon (Dmf. 1723 W. McFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 383; Bwk.2 1950). Also in n.Eng. dial. Sc. 1701  J. Brand Descr. Orkney 32:
Within a few Miles also of the West end of the Mainland is the Loch of Stennis; . . . some Trouts, and Salmon-Gilses are found in it.
Bwk. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 IV. 196–197:
The Tweed produces a great quantity of salmon, gilses, and whitling trout.
Sc. 1803  Trans. Highl. Soc. II. 403:
In the months of July and August, these salmon fry come up gilses to the same rivers which they left when smoults in May.
Sc. ?1816  Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) IV. 259:
We are catching young gilses faster than people care to eat them.
s.Sc. 1885  W. Scrope Salmon Fishing 57:
By the term Gilse I mean young Salmon that have only been once to sea.

[Gils is found in Eng. 1612. The loss of r may have originated in the met. form girls(e) which is found in O.Sc. from 1494.]

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"Gilse n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jan 2019 <>



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