Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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QUILL, n., v. Also queel (Gall. 1903 Gallovidian V. 140); quull- (Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 262).

I. n. 1. Fig. Sc. usages, the throat, gullet. Phr. to weet one's quill, to take some drink. From the obs. Eng. usage = a small pipe or tube. Rnf. 1827  W. Taylor Poems 17:
Jamie was sure to fill the gill, If bid sit down to weet his quill.

2. ? A ruff, from the tubular pleats on it which were known as quills (N.E.D.). Sc. 1828  The Gardener in
Child Ballads No. 219 A. xi.:
The lily white to be your smock; And the jelly-flower to be your quill.

3. Comb. quill-pen, used fig. in phr. quill-pen quyte, a swallow-tailed coat, “tails” (Bnff. 1967). Abd. 1914  J. Leatham Daavit 64:
The club dined in state . . . every member and permitted guest appearing in what David called “a quill-pen quyte.”

II. v. To use a quill or writing pen; tr. to write. Liter. and rare. Lnk. 1890  J. Coghill Poems 67:
This screed whilk he's juist new dune quillin'.
Peb. 1945  J. Dickson Poems per Slg.3:
For each and a' the cheque's been quilled Wi' nae successors.

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"Quill n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Oct 2018 <>



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