A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

Fyle, File, v. Also: fyl, fyll, fyill. P.t. and p.p. fylit, fyllit, filit; fyled, filed; fyld, fild, fylte. [ME. file, fyle, early southern fulen, OE. (á-, be-, ᵹe-) fýlan, f. fúl adj. foul.]

1. tr. To make unclean, filthy, or dirty. (a) It semes not ȝour celsitude … To fyle your teith or lippes with my blude; Henr. Fab. 1484.
To glar my drink, and this fair watter fyle; Ib. 2626.
Fairand ouir the feildis, … [I have] oft fylit my feit in mony foull fen; Rauf C. 444.
Baith courting, cod, covering & shete Of silk he fylis with his feit; Seven S. 1453.
In the dusty pulder … [I may] Suddill and fyle hys crispand ȝallow hair; Doug. xii. ii. 124.
The dayntie dammis may nocht sustene The faithfull for to fyle thair flure; Lauder Minor P. ii. 57.
Quho tuitchis pick … vill fyll thair hand; J. Stewart 234 § 13 b.
Hir haill arme … was fylit with putrifiet wennum; 1633 Maxwell Lett. 221.
Foul a dribble fyld my teeth; F. Semple Banishm. Poverty xxvii.
(b) Of skynnaris [it is said] … that thai file the kingis watter; Acts I. 336/2.
Sum … Spat in his face, filit his cristall eyne; Kennedy Pass. Christ 447.
Quhat hard mischance filit so thi plesand face; Doug. ii. v. 67 (Sm.).
Anthone … slew his broder Geta abone his moderis breist, filing … the samyn be grete effusion of blude; Boece v. x. 182 b.

b. To make foul with excrement. Also absol. to evacuate. Quhill he for feiritness hes fylit vp the way; Henr. Fab. 2558.
That fowll his nest he fylis; Dunb. xliv. 24.
He fyld never sadell in his dais, And Curry befyld tua; Ib. l. 47.
For euery lord, … Brocht in ane bird to fyll the nest; Lynd. Complaint 306.
Thair avairis fyld vp all the feild; Scott ii. 177.
Shee's a foule bird that fyles her own nest; Ferg. Prov. (1641) 18.
absol. Thow fylde [M. fild] faster than fyftene-sum mycht lawe; Kennedy Flyt. 471.
Suppois thai fyllit with thair arssis; (Dunb.) Maitl. F. xi. 89.
Thow … maid bot a mow, Syne fyld by the row; Montg. Flyt. 70 (T).

c. To pollute, render impure or unhealthy; to infect. For of myne syne it is vnfayre, Quhene I spek it fylis the ayre; Leg. S. xviii. 498.
Thay … suld nocht lat thame pas away … to fyle the cuntre about thame; 1456 Acts II. 46/1.
For feiritnes full oft I fylit the wind; Henr. Fab. 2561.
Quhilk gif I wald at lenth declair It wer yneuch to fyill the air; Lynd. Mon. 1242.
The reik … and the stink of the gun pulder fylit al the ayr; Compl. 42/19.
Your gredynes it stinkis and fylis the air; Lauder Minor P. i. 468.
To alter my styll … for fylling the air; Polwart Flyt. 598 (T).
They had alreadie wared … fiftie merks upon that poore woman … , fyled by her husband with the French poxe; 1642 St. A. Presb. 6.

d. To let (land) become foul with weeds; to spoil (a fishing ground). (1) Gif thi natiff man or thi bonde haf fylit thi land with guld, for ilk plant of it he sall gif to thé … a mutone; Acts I. 387/2.
Gife hir land be clene scho sal kep it clene, and gife it be filyt scho sal gife gud labur and diligens to distroy it; 1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 167.
He that sufferis his land to be fild with guld, or siclik improffitabil wedis, sall pay ane ox; Bell. Boece II. 164.
(2) Be the ballasting of the fysche boits with staynes, .. casting the same in the sey, the fyscheing of hering is hurt and the grund fylet; 1611 Conv. Burghs II. 327.

e. intr. To become foul. The quhilk wayke stomak sone fylis, … for fault of gouernaunce; Hay II 120/1.

2. To defile with some impurity, esp. of an immoral nature. (a) Sa that al that mentyme I fylyt sawlis als fer as myne; Leg. S. xviii 564.
Na ȝet sal I fylit be vith ony manis flesh; Ib. xli. 149.
Hys tempile, was Fylede in the effusioune Of mannys blude; Troy-bk. ii. 471.
He suld hald his handis undefoulit or fylit with our vilaynouse dedis; Hay II. 49/20.
Ȝe hecht to revenge me of this devill That schupe to fyle my womanhed; Seven S. 281.
Templis … war … fylit with ymagery of idolis; Boece viii. xiij. 278 b.
A rowkar and rownar sall fyle his awin saule; Hamilton Cat. .
At last thay war sa balde [as] to … pollute and fyl the sacramentis; Dalr. II. 382/16.
(b) To fil myn flesche sa ȝed I wod; Leg. S. xviii. 466.
The mowth … it filis nocht Anerly bot als the thocht; Ib. 537.
Thay that handlis … oders onhonestlie quhair throw thay fil thair self; Gau 16/14.

b. To taint through wrong-doing. Inglesmen … quhilk fylit the myddle marche; c 1541–2 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 27, p. 1.
The wardanis … salbe ansuerable to the king for all … guidis transportit in Ingland fylling thair merches; 1587 Acts III. 452/1.
Incais his guidis stollin fyill his merche; Ib.

3. To stain with dishonour or disgrace; to blacken or defame. (a) The feynd … Thocht that he wald put a smyt In hyr gud nam, for to fyle it; Leg. S. xxx. 58.
Thus this Philipe fylyd the fame Off ryale Frawns, and his awyne name; Wynt. vii. 2117.
Len me thi licht … To fynd the faire in fame that neuir was fyld; Henr. Orph. 172.
Dido of Cartage floure, … Quhais hie renoune na strenth nor gift mycht fyle; Doug. iv. Prol. 256.
Quhat wes it movit thé To fyle thi faith and to be mensworne; Stewart I. 226.
Ȝour faithis ar fylit, To frawd thay silly aipis; Scott xxxiv. 31.
A … knycht, … heireing Edgar innocentlie fylte with sa foul ane blek, was verie discontent; Dalr. I. 319/21.
(b) I … Filyt the glor and honour of thy name; Doug. x. xiv. 52.
He … exhortit thame to file not with schamfull fleing the glore that thay conquest afore be thair manheid; Bell. Boece II. 178.
The rymes and geistis feneȝeit of Arthure and his knichtis … filis and obscuris mekill the fame of thir nobill men; Boece ix. viii. 305 b.

4. To find guilty, to convict. (a) Jame Andro, … Kethrin Andro, fylit of pycry; 1488 Lanark B. Rec. i.
The foresaid assise … fylyt the foresaid Alexander & coutht noucht acquyt him of commone thyft; 1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 211.
To … present thair men, tenentis and seruandis, … fylit for ony billis; 1565 Lennox Mun. 429.
The said assyis … culd not find na pynt quhairon to fyle them; Diurn. Occurr. 348.
Quhatsumeuir persone clengis not of certane knawlege the personis accusit, he fyles thame; 1592 Acts III. 531/2.
[He] was so confident that he could not be fyld when Mr Lewis Steward came to plead for him; 1629 Annandale Corr. 29.
They should not fyle the pannel, though copulation be proved; Mackenzie Laws & C. i. xvii. § 5.
(b) Memorandum to get the buk quhar the lard of Johnston was filit; 1498 Justiciary Rec. (Reg. H.) I. 144.
Ritschart Broun was convictit and filit for the thifftuis steilling of twa maris; 1525 Stirling B. Rec. I. 22.
The man that is clenged, albeit wrangowsly, can not be filed againe or punist; Skene Verb. S. s.v. Assisa.
Francis Dugwid … they file as guilty of art and part of the crime of deforcement; 1673 Justiciary Ct. Rec. II. 205.
He did only desire that the justices would inclose them till they returned an apposite verdict, either filing or cleansing; 1682 Decis. Lords F. 20.
(c) Johnne Lindsay … fyllit for the chaissing and howsing of John Somervell; 1555 Digest Justiciary Proc. B. 116.
Sir Thomas callit was in judgment, And with ane sise fyllit incontinent; Clar. iii. 1780.
The saise wald nocht fyll him, wherat the Court was verie crabit; Melvill 218.
Marshall did sweare … that he had not fylled him at all; Row 387.
(d) The barronis … hes refusit to furneis assysouris that knew and culd fyill the criminallis; 1592 Reg. Privy C. IV. 825.

b. To fyle a bill, to find the charge made in a bill justified and the accused guilty. Certane Scottismen upon quhome thair wes billys filyt to the … Wardane; 1552 Treas. Acc. X. 150.
He … sall keip court and tryist at the said Keparis command … and sall help to speir and fyle billis alsweill of Ingland as Scotland; 1563 Reg. Privy C. I. 240.
Sindrie billis [were] also fylit one the bordouris, as use is; Leslie 87.
He … sayd he wold nether qwit nor fyll those billis; 1576 Douglas Corr. 207.

c. To confirm a charge on a person. To admonische the lard of Pharnihirst to relief the wardane … for vi oxin fylit on Thome Ruthirfurde; 1566 Treas. Acc. XI. 506.

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Fyle v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/fyle>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse DOST: