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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.

Ile, Yle, n.1 Also: ill(e, yll(e, iill, iyl(e, iyll, yile, yill; isle, ysle; aill. [ME. yle, ile (c 1290), OF. ile.]

1. An island. (The usual word: cf. Iland n. 1.)(a) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 498.
I se a litil ile apere In-to the se
1405 Maxwell Mem. I. 145.
Al othir proffytis langand to the saide landis and ilys
c1420 Wynt. v. 5104.
Saynct Brandane … Travalyd on se fra ile tyll ile
Ib. 5180.
Incheketh, The ile betwene Kyngorne and Leth
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 165/26.
liiij kingis of diuers ilis and sum of thir ilis has men with ane E
Ib. 193/5.
The Ile remanis allanerlie occupijt with ws Scottis … and Normandis
1513 Doug. i. iv. 9.
Ane havyn place … with ane ile enveronyt on athir part
1531 Bell. Boece I. xxxviii.
Mony othir ilis ar in this firth, full of cunningis
1536 Rep. Menzies MSS. 33.
The ile and loch within the landis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1549.
All thir gret ilis, … War … equall with the ferme land
1562-3 Winȝet II. 62/10.
Sa mony ilis, prouincis, … realmis, nationis
1596 Dalr. I. 4/10.
Of all iles … Britannie is the … fairest
Ib. 55/30.
Aran and Bute are nocht bathe ane ile
?1549 Monro W. Isles 18.
The 7 iles … callit … halie iles
1615 Highland P. III. 294.
Inchedaholl, ane ile on the baksyde of Ireland
(b) c1420 Wynt. ii. 699.
Ane yle, [that] wes in the se, Off gret space
1570 Rep. Southesk MSS. 12.
For … quietnes of the haille yle [sc. Britain]
1596 Dalr. I. 140/22.
To Britannie cumis legatis … to … explore … the nature of the yle [etc.]
1576 Orkney Oppress. 38.
The inhabitaris of the north yles of Ȝetland
1633 Orkney Bishop Ct. 91.
In the said yle vpoun the gallow hill thair
(c) 1494 Treas. Acc. I. 247.
For a bayte that careit the Kyngis wrychtis fra iyle to iyle
1578 Conv. Burghs I. 59.
Becaus off the ewill air within the iill
?1549 Monro W. Isles 13.
The first iyle of the saids isles, called in … English Man
Ib. 14.
Elsay, an iyl of ane myle lange
Ib. 23.
The yile which … is namit … the Heddir yland
1605 Conv. Burghs II. 203.
Sua lang as the saidis lochis and iyleis ar nocht peciabill
c 1614 Melrose P. 597.
The liwtenant haid beine … in two littill iyllis
1672 Rep. Hist. MSS., Varr. Coll. V. 175.
To kill one of the beast bucks in the iyll

b. In proper names.(a) 1375 Barb. iii. 577.
The Ile of Bute
c1420 Wynt. I. 570.
The ilys of Krym and Argwe
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 245/27.
The Ile of Irland
1549 Compl. 82/19.
The tua realmis to be callit the ile of Bertan
1580 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 103 b.
The Inche or Ile of Hel
1592 Acts III. 614/1.
The solane geis … hantis … in the Ile of the Bas
(b) c1420 Wynt. v. 963.
The Yle Off Pathmos
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxvi. 62.
Calȝecot and the new-fund Yle
1535 Stewart 27206.
The Saxonis duelland into Victa Yle
1560 Bk. Discipl. 203.
Ross [etc.] … with the North Ylis of the Sky, and the Lewis
1622-6 Bisset II. 286/13.
Exyled … into the Yle Pathmos
(c) 1549 Corr. M. Lorraine 315.
The ill of Cumray
(d) 1518 Thanes of Cawdor 129.
The Iil of Kilmolmolrue
1549 Breadalbane Coll. (Reg. H.) No. 68.
At the Iill of Lochay
a1578 Pitsc. I. 124/4.
The Yillis of Arrane
Ib. 389/9.
The Yile of Rosa
1627 Orkney Rentals iii. 55.
The Iyll of Burray being bot ane litill iyll
1641 Acts V. 613/1.
All and haill the Yill of Langbelland
1649 Lamont Diary 13.
The Iylles of Jernsey and Gernsey
(e) 1653 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III. 60.
That he sould remove furth of the aill of Brittane

2. The Ilis, the Western Isles of Scotland, the Hebrides. The North Ilis, the northern Hebrides, including Skye and the Outer Isles. The South, also the West, Ilis, the Argyllshire islands, the Hebrides south of Ardnamurchan, and also Kintyre.(1) 1375 Barb. xv. 316.
Qwhen the King, on this maner, Dantit the Iles
a1384 Fordun Chron. (1871) 345.]
[Donaldus de Ilys
1408 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 176.
The Lord of the Ilys
1493 Ib. II. 228.
Summond … for the remanyng fra his hoist in the Ilis
1506 Treas. Acc. III. 354.
Tua craaris for to pas in the Ilis
1513 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 139.
Within this our realme, Ilis, or ony pairt thairof
1531 Bell. Boece I. 185.
The clannis of the Ilis
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 494.
Duryng his tyme … The sauage Iles trymblit for terrour
1596 Dalr. I. 320/4.
Donald … hydes him in the Ilis
(b) 1535 Stewart 5391.
[He] spulȝeit had the Ylis
a1578 Pitsc. I. 274/2.
Mackleine, ane gret man of the Yleis of Scotland
1596 Dalr. I. 147/5.
King Euen … was troubled with sedition of thame in Orknay and the Yles
(c) 1428-9 Ayr B. Acc. in Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXI. 145.
Till a man cumyn fra the King to passe in the illis
a1570-86 (Dunb.) Maitl. F. x. 17.
As in the Yllis
1606 Reg. Privy C. VII. 255.
A force ... of the ... rebellious ... lymmairis of the Illis
1615 Crim. Trials III. 110.
He comes about the Ylles to Mull
(d) 1586 Digest Justiciary Proc. L. 14.
The Iyllis and bordouris of the realme
?1549 Monro W. Isles 32.
Colmkill, … was the cathedrall kirk of the bishops of the Iyles
a 1615 Brieue Cron. Erlis Ross (1850) 16.
Johne Ila was … Lord of the Iyllis
(2) attrib. c 1580–90 Prot. Bk. J. Masoun 26.
To … deliuer … ane last of … Ilis hering … vpoun the key of the said burcht [sc. Ayr]
1609 Edinb. Test. XLV. 98.
Four last of Iles hering
(3) 1503 Acts II. 241/2.
That thair be justicis deputis for the Ilis & schirefis and thai that ar justice & schiref for the northt Ilis to sit in Inuernes or Dingwele and ane other justice & schiref deput to syt in Tarbart ... for the southt ylis
1555 Ib. 498/1.
The fisching of Loch Fyne and vthers lochis in the north Ilis
1605 Reg. Privy C. VII. 91.
Against Kintyre and the West Ilis
1606 Highland P. III. 87.
The barbarite of thir cuntreis of the Wast and North Iyles
1607 Reg. Privy C. VII. 341.
A securitie ... of the Ilis of Ust, Eg, Canna, Rume, Barra [etc.]. .with all the rest of the North Ilis, except the Sky and the Lewis
Ib. 342.
Seing the North Ilis wer nevir rentallit. .they think that thir Ilis sould be rentallit in portioun and availl ansuerable to the South Ilis
Ib. 528.
Anent the West Yllis
1622-6 Bisset II. 173/28.
How the saidis North and West Ilis of Scotland returned … to the croun of Scotland
1630 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 313.
The fishing in the North Iles and uthers

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



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