Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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YORLIN, n. Also y(e)orling, yorline, -leen, yorlan(d) (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), yorlyn (Rxb. 1825 J. Telfer Border Ballads 61); yarlin(g) (Bnff. 1880 J. F. S. Gordon Chron. Keith 280; Cai. 1901 County of Cai. 375; Uls. 1953 Traynor), yerlin (Abd. 1899 G. Greig Logie o' Buchan xiii.), yirlin (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Bwk. 1889 G. Muirhead Birds Bwk. I. 183); ¶yawling (Inv. c.1745 E. Grant Mem. Highl. Lady (Strachey 1928) 191). [′jorlɪn; ne.Sc. ′jɛr-, ′jɪr-] Very freq. prefixed with yalla. 1. The yellow-hammer, Emberiza citrinella (Gall., Rxb. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 139; Uls. 1910 C.C. Russell People and Lang. 50; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 276; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; n.Sc., Fif., em.Sc.(n), wm. and s.Sc., Uls. 1974). See also Yoldrin. Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 4:
Frae 'mang the scrogs, the yorlins fly in cluds.
Slk. 1813  Hogg Poems (1874) 32:
It was only to hear the Yorlin sing.
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xix.:
Making a man's legs at a distance look like a yellow yorline.
Bwk. a.1840 ,
Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1885) 219 note:
Yellow, yellow yorlin, Drink a drap o' the deil's blude Ilka Monday morning.
Uls. 1875  D. Herbison Children of the Year 181:
On Ballygarvey's briary brae The lonely yorlan's singing.
Mry. 1889  J. Watson Wild Birds 29:
The yarlin' usually builds at the foot of a bush with the shelter of a tuft of tall grass.
Ayr. 1912  G. Cunningham Verse 204:
The mavis, the merle, and the yorlin'.
Lth. 1920  A. Dodds Sangs 25:
The yorlin', the tit, and the wren.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 4:
A feelin-herteet yallih-yorleen.
Uls. 1951  E. E. Evans Mourne Country 80:
Perhaps the most characteristic birds are those which haunt the tall whins, none of them more conspicuous than the yellowhammer (yellow yorling) which flaunts its bright spring plumage among the flaming whin bushes.

2. See quot. Ayr. a.1895  Scots Mag. (March 1969) 520:
The blue tunic with yellow facings and blue breeches with yellow side stripe that earned the Ayrshire Yeomanry their nickname “the yella yorlins.”

[Also in Eng. dial. Met. form of earlier yowlring. See note to Yoldrin.]

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"Yorlin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Dec 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/yorlin>

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