Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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LILLIE, adj. Also lil(l)y. Lovely, beautiful. Liter., esp. in ballads. Comb. lilly-low, in nursery parlance: a bright light or flame, “a bonnie wee low” (Sc. 1880 Jam.). Also in n.Eng. dial. See Lowe. Sc. 1776  D. Herd Sc. Songs I. 155:
O yield thee to yon braken bush, That grows upon yon lilly lie.
Sc. 1800  Thomas Rymer in
Child Ballads No. 37 A. xiii.:
And see not ye that braid braid road That lies across yon lillie leven?
Sc. 1828  P. Buchan Ballads II. 39:
A lady thro' plain fields was bound, A lily leesome thing.
Sc. 1928  J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 15:
An' lilly boats gaed snoovin' by, Like cluds athort the simmer sky.

[Reduced form of obs. Eng. liefly, O.E. lēoflic, lovable, lovely, deriv. of Lief. Lilly-low may however be simply a child's reduplic. variant of Lowe.]

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"Lillie adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2019 <>



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