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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Kill, n.1 Also: kil(le, kyll(e, kyill, kyl(e, kell, keill. [ME. (1440) and e.m.E. kill, kylle, kell(e, later var. of kylne, OE. cylene, cyln(e. The usual Sc. form: cf. Kiln.] A kiln.

1. A structure containing a fire or furnace, as used for drying grain before grinding or in making malt; a corn- or a malt-kiln. See also malt-kill.The upper portion or drying chamber of the kiln was separated by a sort of latticed framework of ‘simmers’ and ‘ribs’ from the lower portion or ‘killogy’ (Killogie n.), which in turn was connected to, and served as the flue of, the kilnfire. To ‘bed’ the kiln was to spread straw on the ribs to support the grain to be dried.(a) 14.. Acts I. 30/2.
Quhasa has lent his kyll til ony man and it brynnis
1462 Peebles B. Rec. I. 148.
A aktre tyll be a summer tyl the kyll
1482 Ib. 191.
[The baillies and council] as set the common kylle in fewferme to Jhon Richartson
Ib. 192.
The said Jhon sall uphald the said kylle sufficiand in wall, rybbis and in ruf, and … serwe the nychtbouris … in the drying of thar cornes
1531–2 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 60.
He maid in his barn and kyllis … fyve makings of malt
1532 Glasgow Prot. IV. 52.
Ane quartar of ane kyle, lyand on the west syd of the gaet of the Stokwell
1550 Breadalbane Coll. No. 73.
1663 Stitchill Baron Ct. 29.
The said Andro first bedded the kylle and the said Alexander offered to … disposses him
(b) 1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 147.
[A notarial instrument taken] at the kill of the Blakhall off Balnamone
c1500 Rowll Cursing 162.
In berne, in hous, in kill or milne
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxiv. 57.
Ane browstar swoir the malt wes ill, Bath reid and reikit on the kill
1512–3 Treas. Acc. IV. 465.
To the man that auch the kill quhar the tollis was dryit
1519 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 189.
To big … duelling houssis, malt barne, kill and cowbill and als had convenient servandis for the making of malt
1550 Reg. Cupar A. II. 94.
Our corne myll … with the kill standand vpoun the dam syde
1555 Peebles B. Rec. I. 218.
[The inquest] ordanis [him] to caus fill vp the holis … quhair he tuk the clay till his kill bigging
15.. Wyf Awcht. 81.
Than he beur kendling to the kill; Bot scho start all vp in ane low
1598 St. A. Baxter Bks. 54.
[To] bring the victuall fra the laboraris of the ground … befoir the cornis pas to kill
1599 Acts IV. 187/2.
For laik of the formes of killis, stowis and furnissis eftermentionate
Eustatius Roogh … hes fund out … ane new forme of killis neuer vsit … quhairby … the malt sall retene na taist of the materiallis quhairwith it salhappin to be dryit
1650 Brechin Presb. 41.
[She] said, The Divell burn kill and mill befor she cam back again. Quicklie after that the kill was on fyr and brunt
c1650 Spalding I. 53.
The symmaris of this kill wes first overcoverit with dovetis and syne weill coverit with stray, quhairvpone James Grant … lay just abone Ballindalloche
1653 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 281.
Four hundrethe merkis for building of ane new kill at the new mylne of Partik
1662 Crim. Trials III. 612.
It salbe brunt, with owr will, As any stikle wpon a kill
1681 Edinb. B. Rec. XI. 18.
The accidents of fyre that fell ovt in thack hovses and kills and barnes in the city
Ib. 24.
The houses barnes steepstones and kills and brewhovses
1700 Misc. Spald. C. III. 184.
Then came three women and took possessione of his kill
(c) 1564–75 Hamilton & Campsie Test. I. 43 b.
In the kell of mault and beir ten bollis
16.. Hist. Kennedy 44.
Thai … laid for me lord within the keill [infra kill] of the laird of Dalgorracheis, quhilk standis hard be the way-side, … and had cuttit out hoillis, to the effect to schutt him in the by-ganging

b. In the proverbial expressions The kill was on (in) fire, to set the kill afire. 1549 Compl. 39/28.
The herrons gaif ane vyild skrech as the kyl had bene in fyir
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 582.
God send na war, quo the wife said [sic], quhen the kill was on fyre
a1651 Calderwood VII. 357.
The better sort of people interpreted this forsaking of his station. efter he had helped to sett the kill afire, to proceede onlie of love of ease

c. = Kilfull n. 1582 Laing Chart. 259.
Quhair he suld haif ane kyll of thre or four bollis of aitis
1605 (1694) McUre City of Glasgow (1736) 189.]
[Every mealman shall pay for every crop or kiln of corn eight pennies to be applied to the well of their decayed brethren

d. A similar structure used for disinfecting clothing. 1645 Peebles Gleanings 252.
For biggin the kill for the infected clothes clenging
1645 S. Leith Rec. 60.
Ordaines to big the kyle at the east end of the Links besyd the caldrons

2. A lime-kiln.See also lime kill. — 1539–41 M. Works Acc. MS. VII. 7 a.
To Bissat … wynnand lyme stanis, breking and setting of the samyn to the furnessing of viikillis
1559–60 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 329.
For twa chalder of lyme price of the chalder at the kell iij s.
1560–1 Ib. II. 135.
Ilk chalder [of lime] xvj schillings at the kill

3. Attrib. and comb. (chiefly in sense 1).As kill-brekar, -chimnay, (-chimlay), -end, -loft, -maill, -malt, -man, -meall, -rib, -stik, -tre, -yaird. Also Kilbern, Killcroft, Kilfull, Kilhous, Kill-sted and ? Killogie. 1542 Elgin Rec. I. 71.
Calland him commond theif and kill brekar
1646 Edinb. Test. LXII. 110.
Ane kilchimnay estimat to iij lib.
1651 Ib. LXV. 153.
Ane littill bras with ane kill chimlay
1576 Crim. Trials. I. ii. 52.
[Sche] ȝeid vp with him to the kill-end
1675 Sutherland Chart. 205.
The kill and killoft of Golspie
1606 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 1.
For kill maill
- 1525 Wigtown B. Ct. 180 a.
xxv s. for a boll of kyll malt
- 1633 Inverness Rec. II. 173.
[A] maltman or kilman
1649 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 847.
1667 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 122.
[Discharge … to James Coastin] killman [in Kirkcudbright]
1672 Kirkcudbr. Test. 18 Jan.
Debts inowing … be Robert Callane killman
1677 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS. 3 Jan.
John Ewart killman
1687 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII. 121.
Five shiling Scots as the kill meall for ilk boll so made by him
1674 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 202.
Your stealling … of hay, bear and kill stiks to the quantitie of … fyve or six kill ribs and wther timber belonging to the kill
1513 Prestwick B. Rec. 44.
That he tuk a tre of the kyll tres
1624 Misc. Abbotsf. C. I. 136.
Ȝour killtreis that he had borrowit
1642 Rothesay B. Rec. 935.
His kill and killyaird

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"Kill n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



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