Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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KES, n., v. Also kace (Marw.), kase, keuss, kioss, kjos, koos(e), kus; k(a)est, kyest. [k(j)es, k(j)ɛs(t); køs, kus]

I. n. A heap, pile, as of fish, sea-weed for burning, etc. (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh. 1959); specif. a dunghill, or cess-pit (Ork. 1887 Jam., kaest). Sh. 1866  Edm. Gl.:
Keuss (of sillacks), a number of sillacks put into some receptacle, and allowed to remain until they have acquired a game or spoilt flavour.
Ork. c.1912  J. Omond 80 Years Ago 20:
All the houses of Stenso in Evie put the ware in four kests or heaps, putting a load on each kest in succession, and the kests were then balloted for.
Sh. 1949  J. Gray Lowrie 97:
Dey wir juist a koose o' forks an' spunes lyin afore me.
Sh. 1954  New Shetlander No. 40. 10:
Shö shook da jackit an a koos a mochs fled oot.

II. v. Of peat or seaweed: to pile up for drying (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), kes, 1914 Angus Gl., kus, Sh. 1959). Also ppl.adj. kiossed, see 1914 quot. Ork. 1767  P. Fea MS. Diary (17 Sept.):
Sent Jo Hay and 5 others to kase and bullan what peats I had in the Calf.
Ork. 1769  Ib. (28 April):
The Tang there was kested thereon.
Sh. 1914  Old-Lore Misc. VII. ii. 74:
Kiossed heads were fish heads or small fish rolled in a cloth and put into a crevice of a stone wall till they acquired a gamey flavour. They were then cooked and eaten with butter and potatoes.

[Norw. dial. kas, kos, a heap, pile of things gathered together, O.N. kasa, to heap earth on (carcases, etc.), ks, a heap, pile, conflated with O.N. kstr, a pile, esp. of fuel. The phonology partly follows Sc. development. Cf. P.L.D. § 48.1.]

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



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