Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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KYE, n.pl. Also k(a)y, key, kie (Slk. 1837 Hogg Tales II. 335), ki (Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xv.), cie (Ant. 1928 Irish Breeder 18). Cows, cattle. Obs. exc. in n.dial. in Eng. Gen.Sc.

Comb. kye-time, the time for milking cows (Uls. 1953 Traynor; ne.Sc. 1960). [kɑe] Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 355:
Where will you get a Park to put your yell Kay in. Spoken to them who, without any Reason, boast of their good Management.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 81:
As they drew near, they heard an eldren dey Singing fu' sweet at milking o' her ky.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Twa Dogs 234:
The kye stood rowtin i' the loan.
Edb. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xlii.:
The selling my kye for rent or e'er it was due.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Poems (1874) 414:
Wi' a bonnie, bonnie lassie, When the kye comes hame.
Sh. 1877  G. Stewart Fireside Tales 17:
Dy kye fell a-liftin' fir want o' meat.
Fif. 1896  D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 155:
As fine a judge o' kye as is on this side o' the Forth: and ye turn up your nose at him!
Sc. 1934  Sc. N. & Q. (Sept.) 130:
Far awa' kye ha'e lang horns.

[O.Sc. ky, cows, 1375. Mid.Eng. , kie, ky(e), O.E. cý(e), pl. of , a cow.]

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"Kye n. pl.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/kye_n_pl>

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