Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
†MEIL, n. Also meill, meile; miel, meel; meal, mail. [mel] An I.Sc. measure of weight for dry ingredients, as corn and malt, = 6 Lispunds or Settens, q.v. The measure varied from place to place and time to time and according as the bear- or malt-pundlar was used, but was gradually increased in the 18th c. from about 9 to 15 stones avoirdupois. Now only hist.
Ork. 1715 in H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1936) I. 54:
Wee should buy for him two hundred meils of meall and ane hunder meils malt — the pryces he offers is 3 lb 13/- for meall and malt. Ork. 1730 B. H. Hossack Kirkwall (1900) 408:
The Standart of the Malt-pundar Meil consisting of six of these Setteens, seventy-two libs. and no more. I.Sc. 1779 J. Swinton Weights, etc. 106–7:
The chalder of Bear, in Orkney, being 24 Meils on the Malt-pundlar, and 36 on the Bear-pundlar. . . . The above Meil on the Malt-pundlar = 195.7836 lb. avoird. [Ork.] . . . = 182.7318 lb. avoird. [Sh.] Ork. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 V. 412:
The stipend consists of 86 mails malt, (each mail weighing about 12 stones Amsterdam weight). Ork. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 182:
The “meil”, which is nearly 11¼ stones Dutch, or 14¼ imperial.
Hence combs. 1. meal scoup, meils cop, a land division in Ork. (see quots. and Marwick op. cit.). Hist.; 2. miels-kaesie (see quot.)
1. Ork. 1868 D. Gorrie Orkneys 22–3:
Westray is divided into penny and farthing-lands, with the exception of one township which is divided into meal scoups, a corruption of the Norse mæliscop, equal, it is supposed, to one-sixth of a pennyland. Ork. 1952 H. Marwick Farm-Names 203:
Two other land-valuation units — the “meils cop” and the “uris cop” — are of much more obscure origin, neither being known in Norway, and in Orkney curiously enough their use seems to be on record from one island only — Westray. “Cop” in these terms certainly represents O.N. kaup, purchase or bargain. 2. Ork. 1905 Orcadian Papers (Charleson) 38:
The miels-kaesie derived its name from the fact that it was intended to hold a miel, that is a certain weight of bere.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Meil n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Aug 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/meil>
Try an Advanced Search