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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sol(e, Soill(e, Soll(e, n.1 Also: soil(e, soal(e, soul(l, se(i)ll, sulye. [ME and e.m.E sole (c1325), soole (1387), soule (1523), soal(e (1602), OF sole, pop. and med. L. sola, L. solea a sandal, shoe.]

I. 1. The sole of the foot.Quot. 1662 may belong in sense 2. c1420 Wynt. i 693.
Sum owth thair fete thare solys hawys
1513 Doug. iv v 155.
Mercury … with the weyngit solys [L. alatis plantis] of hys feyt
1513 Doug. vii xiii 71.
Furth hald hir way mycht sche, The swyft solis of hir tendir feyt Nocht twichand … the watir
1562 Digest Justiciary Proc. D 47.
He [being] impotent … throw the cutting of the musculis tendentis and legementis of his solle of his said left fut
1570 Crosraguel Chart. II 3.
The tormenteris … band … baith my feet and band my soiles [Bann. Memor. 66, soilles] betuix ane iron chimlay and a fyre
1662 Soc. Ant. XXII 224.
That Janet Paton … was with you … when they trampit down Thos. White's rie … and that she had broad soals and trampit down more nor any of the rest

b. Coupled with croun of the hede, freq. in fra (from) the sole (of (the) fute) (up) to the croune (top) of (the) hede, to indicate the whole human body.Common in solemn rituals, as excommunication or dedication to the devil.(1) 14… Statut. Sc. Ch. 6.
Cursit be thai fra the crowne of the hede to the soile of the fute
?a1500 Dewoit Exerc. 107.
Fra the soile of ȝour blist feit to the croun of ȝour heid
a1450 Fifteen Ois 79.
Fra the soile of the fute to the hicht of the heid croun Thow had na haill hid
?c1500 Rathen Manual 28/1.
Cursit be thai and all the membris of thair bodye fra the solis of thair feite to the crovnne of thair hedis
1525 St. A. Formulare I 269.
I curse … everilk part … fra the top of ther heides to the sole of ther feyt
1597 Crim. Trials II 28.
Scho waische the seik woman … frome the croune of hir heid to the soill of hir fute
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 107.
Christane Hendersoune, … to put hir ane hand to the croune of hir heid, and the other to the soile of hir fute, and so beteich quhatevir wes betwein hir handis, to the Dewill
1662 Crim. Trials III 603.
I denyed my baptisme and did put the on of my handis to the crowne of my head and the vther to the sole of my foot and then renuncet all betuixt my two handis ower to the Divell
1662 Crim. Trials III 610.
All betuixt the soale of my foot and the croun of my head I gaw frielie wp and ower to the Divell
(2) a1450 Fifteen Ois 243.
Fra the soille vp to the heid Wes na thing … vnhurt levit

c. On (one's) solis, in, or into, a standing posture = Fut(e n. 2 a; walking = Fut(e n. 2 b. c1420 Wynt. iii 366.
He stert wp and [on] solys [W. on his feit] gat
c1420 Wynt. iv 2364.
And lychtly on his solys gat
1584 Sempill in Sat. P. xlv 729.
They bring thame farre on ambeling foiles, Bot send thame hame throw on thair soilles

d. The underpart of a horse's foot. 1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 72.
Williame Trotteris [sc. smith and horse marshal] compt … for dressing of the fleck hors stobbit in the soill

2. The sole of a shoe or stocking (Hose n. 1) or similar garment (Hose n. 2). Also attrib. with hyde, ledder. 1531 Bell. Boece I lvi.
Thay dippit thaim [sc. shoes] … in the watter … that thair sollis … suld be the mair abil to sustene laubour
1539 Treas. Acc. VII 148.
For the making of the twa pair of schone and solis to thame
c1540 Lynd. Kitteis Conf. 88.
Colleris, beif and coillis, Hois, and schone, with dowbill soillis
1541 Aberd. B. Rec. I 176.
Solis exemplis over ledderis exemplis
1584 Sempill in Sat. P. xlv 795.
For a pair of schone he ast. Bot or he sperit the price … His thovmbis was on the soillis to say them
1607 Sc. Ant. XV 141.
Ye sall caus my mother send me twa pair of soillis to my hois and ane pair of linnen cannonis [pr. cannovis] to my breikis
1639 Kirkcaldy Presb. 158.
He weares the overladers of shoes upon his soles when he is in the loft
attrib. 1581 Edinb. Test. X 75.
xxiij peces of soill ledder
1584 Edinb. Test. XIV 77.
Thrie creischit soill hydis
1586 Edinb. Test. XV 131b.

II. 3. The piece of stone or the wooden beam forming a. The threshold of a door, also, once, of a turnpike stair, or b. The sill of a window. c. attrib.a. 1512 Prot. Bk. J. Foular 150.
Lintale rabits soile and put for a loft dur
1520 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 174.
The closat withtin the clos sal be half ane fut vndir the richt verk of the sol of the yeit
1539–40 Treas. Acc. VII 346.
Theik [? erron. for cheik] soll and pend to j dur strikkin furtht in the est end of the munitioun hous
1542 Soc. Ant. III 161.
The said queir tobe … in heicht fra the sollis of the said queir duris to the vuer pairt of the walter tabill … xxxij futtis
1554–5 Edinb. Old Acc. II 44.
For ane tre to be cheikis lintell and soill to the inner dur of the charterhous
1570 Leslie 101.
The Erle of Levenox … under myndit the neddir sole of the yett of Dumbartane, and … tuik the castell
1573–4 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII 72.
Ane dubill garrun to be soill and lintell to the yet
1688 Dumfries Doc. (Box of Accts. No. 274).
His hewing & laying of the solles to the tuo mylldoor
(b) 1591–2 St. A. B. Ct. 10 March.
Ane … dur with soll cheikis and lintill
1538 Edinb. Guild Ct. July.
Hes hurt the said Johne Fischear in putting furth of the sole of his turnpik … and thairfor ordanis the said Maister Johne to remoif the sole and rabettis ferrar eist
(c) 1531 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 65.
For iiii pecis aslar for seill and lyntaill to the tua over durris
b. 1530 Edinb. Guild Ct. 9 June.
That he sett the soill of the samyn windois levell with the cupillis of his said land
1532 Edinb. Guild Ct. 31 May.
To put in the said wyndo tua stancheouris of irne and to hicht the soill thairof viij inchis abone the new soill
1563–4 Edinb. Old Acc. I 447. 1571–2 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII 65.
For thre stanis to be sollis to the glass windois
1623 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 282.
That the east window … sould be takine doun within sex fuittis to the soill, and fullit with glass
1625 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 123.
The saidis persones … had brokin … throw … vnder the soill of the foir window
1625 Glasgow B. Rec. I 347.
The soillis of thair windois being fywe futes abone the flure
1628–9 Dumbarton Common Gd. Acc. 60.
For dressing … the kais of the meikill windo and making a soill thairto
1639 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 415.
The southe window … to be made fairer by lawing the sol therof and so making it larger in light
1675 Edinb. B. Rec. X 234.
The chops … [are not to be] … highted any farder then the sol of the glass windowe above the same
1683 Martine Reliq. Divi Andreae 183.
The sole of each window is about 12 foot from the ground; the height of the window is about five foot
(b) 1674 Edinb. B. Rec. X 200.
The wholle pillars and solls of the windowes of the wholl waist tenements … shall be of equall hight
(c) 1561–3 Edinb. Old Acc. I 413.
xvij pece of lange stanis to be soullis and lyntallis to the wyndowis
c. 1577–8 Glasgow B. Rec. I 67.
The said erle furnesand glasbandis, soilburdis, lyme, and sand
1636 Kirkcaldy Presb. 103.
For ane trie to be cheiks and soletrie thairto, 8 sh.
1641 Kirkcaldy Presb. 203.
The solestone of the upper north windo

4. a. The foundation or part of the foundation of a structure; the beam or joist (of wood or stone) forming the main member or one of the main members of such a foundation.(1) 1555–6 Edinb. Old Acc. I 180.
For twa lang jestis to be the soill and the lintell to the bar of the over tolbuyth, xl s.
1563–4 Edinb. Old Acc. II 194.
Ane lange jeist to be ane soile to the said cuppill feit langis the heid of the said wall
1564–5 Edinb. Old Acc. II 207.
Ane geist to be soill and lyntell to the loft
1611 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 333.
For twa gret feir jeistes for to be the soll and lyntell to the coch house
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 370.
Squar parpin stones for to be … kaipes and solles for the wall that gois about the great fowssie
1649–50 Dumbarton Treas. Acc. MS.
For thrie oken geistes to be ane soll to the key at 13 s. 4 d. ilk peice
(2) 1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II 308.
To viij pynoris to beir up to the nether tolbuith the soillis, lintallis, and standarts of the great braid draucht nixt the wall, and rasing of parte of the bund
1555–6 Edinb. B. Rec. II 325.
For stra to stop the mortis of the sollis
1641 Stirling Chart. 152.
Tabularum, lie buirdis et daillis … lie single roof, soale [1714 copy sparris] et bowstingis pro centum [etc.]
(b) 1542 Soc. Ant. III 162.
Abone the said brace in the forsaid west gavill sulyeis tobe laid and ane stepil tobe raisit thareupown
1542 Soc. Ant. III 163.
The watter tabill of the sidwallis … to be larg of sulye betuix buttreis and buttereis
(3) 1539–41 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 271.
xx cunter sollis ilk pece xvi d.
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 361 (see Luming n.).attrib. 1606–7 Ayr B. Acc. 231.
[5 great] geistis, [22 and 23 ft. long, to be the] soill tymmer [of the bulwark]
1609–10 Ayr B. Acc. 243.
Sole tymmer

b. The base or foundation of a structure, more generally; also occasionally, perhaps, the floor. 1552–3 Edinb. Old Acc. II 15.
To Gilbert Cleuch mason … for ane ulkis laubor in the fluring of the soill of the stall
1576 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. XIII 207.
For libertie of twa futis hycher befoir the outsetting of the sole of the corce
1584 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 348.
The soill of the syour of the rin of the said loch to be repairit
1638 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 410.
That the haill soll of leid of the battelling of the hall suld be lifted of new casten and layde againe
1644 Dundee Chart. 173.
Two roundis to be built upon the steeple … and for the ground & soll of those roundis the said Johne wold referre himself to the counsalle's discretione
1646–7 Dumbarton Common Gd. Acc. 157.
For reding of the grund to lay the sol of it [sc. the quay]
1648–9 Dumbarton Common Gd. Acc. 164.
For upputting of the bar within the tolbuithe and laying of the soll within the said bar
1693 Logie Par. Hist. I 320.
To Hendrey Fogo wright … for building the sole and fore seat of the wester loft

5. A joist, beam or piece of stone prepared for use as a sill (sense 3) or as (part of) a foundation (sense 4). Also attrib.In collocation with Lintel(l n., Menȝell n., Nowell n., Rabet(t n. 1535–6 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 137, etc.
For xxvi pece nowell soill and lyntell ilk pece xiiii d.
1535–6 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 139.
For v lang stainis for soill and lyntell
1538–9 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 246.
For … xxx pece soill and meynȝell ilk pece xvi d.
1558–9 Edinb. Old Acc. I 296.
For careying of ane soll and lyntell fra the mylnis to the goun holl in Leyth wynd
1566 Crail B. Ct. MS 9 July.
Solis and lyntellis
1620 Edinb. Test. I 287.
Of hewin stane werk sic as soleis, rebatis, lintallis and newallis
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 361.
Item mair to them fra twa linning [ed. luming] sollis
(b) 1578–9 Haddington Treas. Acc.
Stanes to lyntellis sellis stappis
attrib. 1686 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 313.
[And he is to leave] ryll trees and soll trees and staiks and doors and the lyk

6. Soll eall (= ale), a gratuity of drink given to workmen on completion of a particular stage in the building process.Cf. Lintel(l n. 2 b. 1689 Foulis Acc. Bk. 107.
For eall againe to the masons quariers and others at carting the flags for the stanks linttle eall and soll eall

7. The bottom, floor or hearth of an oven, also of a furnace. 1531–2 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 71.
For xix pece of North Beruik stanis for the soill of the said une
1558 Treas. Acc. X 440.
To ane compt of making of iiijm tyld to be ane pend and ane sole to ane furnes
15… Aberd. B. Rec. MS (Jam.).
The soiling of ane owyne, & vprysing of the soill thairof
1611 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 335.
For … laying of the soll of the evine
1622 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 147.
For xiii North Berwick stanes … to be ane soll to the … oven
1626 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 200.
For foure great lek staines for the soill of the oven at Halyrudehous, [£5 6 s. 8 d.]
1636–7 Dumbarton Common Gd. Acc. 91. 1641 Houston Auchterderran 233. 1659 Dunferm. Kirk S. 54.
Sir Henrie Wardlaw … intends to big … a baikhous … and desyrit libertie of the session for a little peace more rowme of the kirkyaird for the sole of his oven

8. The bottom or base of various objects or mechanisms. 1583 Chapel Royal xciv.
Fyre treis to the sollis and binding of the saidis formis
1601 Edinb. B. Rec. V 280.
That na baxteris … watter or burne thair breid in the heid or sole
1617 Edinb. Test. XLIX 342b.
Tuentie soullis of buistis at vj s. viij [d.] the soull
1623 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 267.
And thrie irone sollis of ane hoatt-press
1630–1 Aberd. Shore Wk. Acc. 175.
Ane gryt trie to be ane soll to on of the fyrbitts … tuo treis on quherof was half a soll and the uther ane angle to the uther beaken
1641-8 Skipper's Acc. (Smettone) 9.
For tack of the soll of the head & parline her bowes
1680 Blackness Customs 4b.
Ane iron soll for a litsters press
1691 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXIX 127.
[To buy] shreets of kopper and sols for kettles

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"Sol n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Dec 2023 <>



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