Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ILE, n.1, v. Cf. Eelie, n.1, Uilie. [əil]

I. n. 1. Gen.(exc. s.)Sc. form of Eng. oil. See P.L.D. §§ 46, 105.2. Also in combs. with -cake, -skin, etc. Sc. 1827  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 316:
He should leave the iles and keep to water-colours.
Cai. 1872  M. Maclennan Peasant Life 183:
Ye maun hae maid awa' wi' the ile-cake!
Edb. 1895  J. Tweeddale Moff 36:
Nae doot, Laird, you that's stiff rich will be a heavy shareholder in iles?
Abd. 1914  J. Leatham Daavit 118:
It's my funcshin ti pooer ile on the trouble't waters.
Gsw. 1947  H. W. Pryde 1st Bk. McFlannels i.:
If you ever see ony sign o' me sayin' Ah'll lay ilecloth again.
Bch. 1949  W. R. Melvin Poems 37:
Blue ribbons on the guttin' cogs, An ileskins green an' pink.

Hence ilie, iley, adj., oily. Also used subst. as a shortened form of iliecoat, an oilskin worn by sailors (Bnff., Bwk. 1958). Comb. ilie water, a patch of smooth water with a choppy sea all round it (Mry. 1925). Lth. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick vi.:
Ay, I ken them; rub your heid wi' an ily stick, an' cut your throat ahint your back.

II. v. As in Eng.: to lubricate with oil. Gen.Sc.; to turn to oil. Abd. 1928  J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 14:
An' butter iles that's jist new kirn't.

Phr.: †to oil one's lug, to make flattering speeches; to pay compliments. Edb. 1843  J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie i.:
What for will ye be . . . oiling my lugs wi' your slippery tongue at that rate?

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"Ile n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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