Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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KIRNEL, n. Also kirnell, kernal, -el; girnal (Cai.). See also Gornal. Sc. forms and usages:

1. A kernel (Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 141, 1759 J. Justice Brit. Gardener's Cat. 59; Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Poems 106, Kcb. 1960).

2. A lump or hard gathering below the the skin, gen. in the neck, a swollen gland (Fif., Lth., Kcb., Dmf., Rxb. 1960); a boil (Cai. 1940 John o' Groat Jnl. (2 April), girnal). Phr.: wax(en) kernels, id. (Sc. 1731 J. Moncrief Poor Man's Physician 174; w.Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Vocab. 25, waxing kernals; Fif. 1912 D. Rorie Mining Folk of Fife 405; Fif., Lth., Kcb., Dmf., Rxb. 1960). Cf. Chirnel, q.v., and Wax. Also in Eng. dial. Abd. 1847  Gill Binklets 53:
[It] raised, as his mother expressed it, a kirnel on his head like a hen's egg.

3. A gland in an animal's body used as food; in pl.: lamb's fry, lamb's testicles (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Gall. 1960). Sc. 1704  Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 350:
A lyre and Huckbone of beife 24sh., kirnells 2sh.

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"Kirnel n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2018 <>



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