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

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Rol(l, Row, v.2 Also: role; roul(l, rowl; rowe, rou. P.t. also rold, rollde. P.p. also rold(e; rowin. [ME and e.m.E. rolle(n, roule(n, v.r. roile(n (Chaucer), also 17th c. north. Eng. dial. rou, OF rueler, roeler, roler (all late 12th c. in Larousse), rouler (14th c.), late L. *rotulare, f. rotūla, dimin. of rōta a wheel.] Usu. with locative complement.

1. tr. To move (a person or thing) along a surface by turning (him, it, etc.) over and over. Also fig. Thane bad he schellis & brynnand cole Straw in the floure … & nakyt thare-one hire rol; Leg. S. xlii 255.
He … gert foure wicht men to ga That suld rol hire to & fra; Ib. xlv 218.
Scho fell in soun And than thay rowit [Ch. rubbit] hir vp and doun; Lynd. Sat. 4352 (B).
To xv men rowand stanis to balk the dam at Maris myln; 1558 Edinb. Old Acc. I 265.
[They] hes contemptuouslie casten and rowit the greit stanes of the town's wark in the castle burn; 1562 Old Dundee II 222.
They … wer brunt with the fyre brandis that they did row doun the stey bra; Melville Mem. 24.
Ane stane … Quhilk … He rolled away; c1631 Paterson Ayr & Wigton I xii.
Diogenes … went up to the side of a hill and rowed his tub up and down; Henderson Serm. 376.
fig. The huge wallis weltris apon hie, Rollit [Sm. Rowit] at anys with storm of wyndis thre; Doug. i ii 56.

b. To move (something) by means of rollers placed underneath it. For four greit treis to row the cannoun witht; 1554 Treas. Acc. X 234.
To the men that rollit thame [sc. the cannon stocks]; 1615 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 363.

2. Chiefly in Doug.: To drive, or draw (a cart or chariot, or its occupant). (1) By horssis four furth rollit was his char; Doug. vi ix 115.
Pheton with the quhyp hym quhyrlys, To roll Appollo hys faderis goldyn char; Ib. xii Prol. 31.
Ib. v xii 102.
Phebus … As roye royall, rollyng in his speir … in to his goldin cheir; Lynd. Dreme 426.
(2) The feird … rollis Phebus doun into the sey; Henr. Test. Cress. 217.
Nixt quham furth rollyt was Prynce Turnus bald Within a twa quhelyt chariot of delyte; Doug. xii iv 10.

3. To turn round, or cause to rotate, on or as on an axis; to turn over and over. The huge Atlas … rollys the round speir … Full of thir lemand starnys; Doug. iv ix 18.
fig. The kyng of goddis so distributis the fatis, Rollyng the chancis, and turnyng thame thusgatis; Doug. iii vi 44.

b. To turn over and over (in filth, etc.). Chiefly or only fig. Also reflex. And that he mycht his fleshlie pleisures the frilier serue, and with the gretter confidence row him selfe in al filthines; Dalr. I 152/3.
Thame selfes to be rowit in the clay puddil of al vice; Ib. 291/4.

c. Of a man: To penetrate and have sexual intercourse with (a woman). A joly young frier hes raised my womb That ever I did it … alace … Come rake me the rowing tree, Come row me roundabout [Forbes Cantus Come row to me round about] Bony dowy Robin, Robert, Joly Janet & who plays on your pen, Joly Robert Your gimpinot plays the tirl, the tirl … And like ye not play with me; 16.. Trip and Goe Hey in
Wode's Psalter (ed.) 245a.

4. To wrap (oneself, another person, or a thing) (up) in cloth or paper. Also fig. To rou ȝour selfs in hair claith; King Cat. 97.
Tua ellis of quhyt talphetie that the bairn was rowin in; 1590 Edinb. B. Rec. V 332.
In thir … mantilis … thay rowit thame selfes; Dalr. I 93/14.
As Joseph … rollit the bodie of the Lord within ane … claith of fyne lane; Hamilton Facile Tr. 393.
Shoe rouid it in hir aprone; Edwards Commonpl. Bk. 41b.
fig. His forspeikings … war … sa inuoluet and rowet vp in allegories & dark sentences; Dalr. I 341/8.
The Test, as it was rowed up, had many plyes and implications in it; 1682 Lauder Observes App. iv 306.

b. To wrap about (a person); to wrap (something) about (with something). For a boult of broad knittings to row about him in his cheircloath; 1684 Oliphants 286.
If they … had not … receaved from the packitt boyes … the saids bypacquets or byletters rolled about with paper; 1686 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII 32.

5. To form something into a coil, roll or ball, to fold, or curl, up; to insert (something) in a roll or coil; also, to roll, or twist, (two things) together. (1) Thou glancing lou Haill roundly rold [v.r. rolde] … His praise furth shou; James VI Poems II 48/30.
He did sie a paper in Lieutenent Colonell Stewartis hand whiche wes rowed vp; 1641 Acts V 637/2.
(2) Indytit, of … ressauing fra hir … inchantit mwildis and powder put in ane peice paipar, to be vsit and rowit in your hair; 1591 Crim. Trials I ii 252.
(3) The escutcheon being supported by two dragons, their tails rowed together; 1673 Dundee Chart. No. 110.

b. To row up, to wind up (a clock). Cf. Rolling vbl. n.2 2 a. That he should not only daily row up and wait upon the knock; 1698 Dunferm. Ann. 363.

6. To shape or smooth (metal) by use of a roller, revolving stone, or the like; ? to cut a gem. See also Rolling vbl. n.2 1 (4). Cf. 19th c. Eng. rove to reduce (a grindstone) in diameter by means of a special tool. With quot. Henr., cf. In-rold, where roll is differently interpreted. A croun of massie gold … With iaspis ionit and royall rubeis rold; Henr. Fab. 875.
To the said William for the auld vedgis rowit and betit; 1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 27.
For making of ane boull and turning of it to James Achesone to row his taist [= test piece] with; 1610 Hilderstoun Silver Mines II 108.
Ane mell rowet; 1629 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 295.

7. To revolve, or turn over, (an idea, etc.) (in the mind or memory); to consider, contemplate. Also absol. or intr. Juno … Rollyng in mynd full mony kankyrryt blok; Doug. v xi 12.
Kyng Latyn … in his breist … Was rollyng mony diuers selcouth chance; Ib. xiii iii 12.
Bell. Boece II 390.
Rolling in my rememberance Off court the daylie variance Me think [etc.]; Stewart Maitl. F. 370/1.
In cairfull mynde the generall … rollde Quhat … array uolde best fitt suche ane armee; James VI Poems I 227/232.
absol. or intr. Voluere, to row or pans; Despauter (1579).

8. To cause (one's eyes) to roll as an expression of emotional disturbance or in order to obtain the widest possible range of vision. Cf. 14 a below. (1) Dydo … Rollyng vmquhile hir eyn now heir now thar With syght onstabil; Doug. iv vii 3.
(2) And quhillis I rold in ewerye syd my gasing restles ene Gif I culd spy [etc.]; Fowler I 58/13.
Evin so did I thair cast my eyes and roll thame round about The more perfytlie for to vew [etc.]; Ib. 66/219.
He sighed … and roulled his eiyes alonges all the corners of the housse; 1650 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 596.

9. intr. To revolve round, or as round, an axis. b. To move from one place to another or on (doun) a course by, or as by, rotating. Also proverb. c. = 3 c above. The firmament payntit with sternis cleir, From eist to west rolland in cirkill round; Henr. Fab. 1658.
On it [sc. a wheel] spred a man hecht Exione Rolland about; Id. Orph. 267 (Bann.).
b. As the starnys thar myd cours rollys doun; Doug. iv x 5.
The bals did roul; both heaven & earth did rumble; 1643 Fugitive Poetry II xx 5.
Let bowles rowl as they will; 1657 R. Moray Lett. fol. 75.
proverb. Ye breid of a clew ye ar ay rowing; Ferg. Prov. MS No. 1585.

c. Trip & Go in Forbes Cantus (1666).

10. To move with an irregular, or rocking, motion. Also fig. Rollit; Henr. Orph. 284 (Bann.) (see Rok v. 3 (1)).
Quhen it [sc. Delos] flet rollyng from costis to and fro; Doug. iii ii 14.
Roleing and noding upon his horse; 1654 Strathendrick 8.
fig. And rolland thus in diuers fantaseis Terribill thochtis oft my hart did gryis; Doug. Pal. Hon. 763.

b. ? To tumble down. The byrnand towr down rollys with a rusche; Doug. ix ix 37.

11. To press newly-carded wool into a roll before spinning. His vse wes mare to roll and spyne [R. wytht rok to spyne] Than thai landis to corne to wyne; Wynt. iii 731 (W).

12. To ride in (intill) a wheeled vehicle. The moyn intill hyr … cart of nycht Held rollyng [Sm. rolland] throw the hewynnys myddil ward; Doug. x v 3.

13. Of time: To pass. Also, to roll our or away. That the ȝong child … Thretty lang twelfmonthis rolling [Sm. rowing] our sal ryng; Doug. i v 72.
Or the speyre his howris rollit richt Sa far about that it was scars mydnycht; Ib. iii viii 13.
The donk nycht is al maist rollyt away; Ib. v xii 134.

14. a. Of the eyes: To move or turn to and fro in the sockets. Cf. 8 above. With eyn rollyng, and twynkland vp ful fane, Assays scho to spy the hevynnys lyght; Doug. iv xii 96.
Now heir his eyn, now thar, rollyng in hy; Ib. viii iv 102.
Quhois cristall ene vnto my mynd rolling Renewis [ed. Reuellis] my pane but solace; Bann. MS 219b/14.

b. Of a sound: To re-echo. Endlang the costis the vocis and the sowndis Rollys inclusyt, quhill the mekyll hyllys Bemys agane; Doug. v iii 89.

c. Of a restless sleeper: To turn over and over, as in restlessness. From syde to syde I turne And restles rowe as on a edge of thorne; Fowler I 193/2.

d. Of snow: To row togeather, to whirl round in currents when falling. Whytar than the snow Which gathered is in flokkis but winde and dois togeather row; Fowler I 84/208.

15. a. To indulge oneself in a passion or lust. b. To abound in (riches). a. Ane lord … Rolland in warldlie lust and vane plesance; Henr. Fab. 1602.
Ane prince of pissance … Rolland in his rage; Lynd. Sat. 521 (B).
b. Now pure as Job, now rowand in riches; Henr. Fab. 2944.

16. Of thoughts: To revolve in (a person's) mind; to be under consideration. In mynd dyd he cumpas Full mony chancis rolland to and fro; Doug. x xi 185.
Quhat thochtis now doith rollyng in thy mynd; Ib. xiii xi 25.

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"Rol(l v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/roll_v_2>



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