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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Treffle, Trifoly, -ie, n. [Late ME and e.m.E. treyfoyl(e (c1400), trifolie (a1450), trefle (1510), OF tresfle, AF trifoil, L. trifolium.] (A) trefoil, specif. a. Clover. b. In heraldic use, applied erron. to Cinque Foil. The variant forms t(h)rissle derive from a misreading of ff as ss. —a. 1596 Dalr. I 36/4.
The herb gude to give the cattel against the rute that thay cal trifoly
1596 Dalr. I 39/23.
We oft cal her the blak cok: sche amang the smal bledis of the herbe called trifolie cheiflie lyues
b. 1494 Deidis of Armorie 52.
Quinte-feulle representis the treffle [S. trissle, L. thrissile] … and is callit quinte-feulle becaus it has v levis

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"Treffle n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Jun 2023 <>



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