Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BARLEY, BAURLEY, n. and v. Freq. used with interjectional force. [′bɑrl + Sc.; em. and wm.Sc. + ′brl]

1. n. A truce, a rest. [Rare in ne.Sc.] Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xliii.:
And like a proper lad o' his quarters, that will not cry barley in a brulzie.
Sc. 1846 Anon. The Muckomachy (based on W. Drummond Polemo-Middinia) 20:
“A barley!” through the armies baith, From ilka geysend craig resoundit.
Sh.4 1933:
I beg a barley.
Abd. c.1875 (per Abd.19):
Barley. Known at Ballater in my schooldays.
Ags.2 1933; Fif.1 1933:
Barley. Heard in north Forfarshire, and in Fife.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 30:
In vain the chiel a baurley socht.
Edb. 1812 W. Glass Caledonian Parnassus 42:
Then Bonaparte, completely cow'd, Shall cry, “Guid safe's, a barley!”
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle xxxiii.:
He gripped me by the craig and fair choked me afore I could cry a barley.
Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems and Sketches 87:
I concluded that it was a' a vile conspiracy tae gar folks burst themsel's, an' resolved tae cry” a barley.”
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 284:
The sun is blinking warm and bonnie owre the holms and the plantin's, and so I maun cry “A barley! a barley!” and go and enjoy it while I may.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 49:
Whan ee're staw'd o' writin', duist take a barley.
w.Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne iv.:
“Now, I would like to give you a little sermon on this — ” “A barley! a barley, Maister Crosbie!”
m.Dmf.3 c.1920:
A barley, a rest in play by children.

2. v. (See quot.) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 44:
Barley . . . to treat, to have peace for a moment.

[Phs. a corruption of Fr. parlez. See Parley.]

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"Barley n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Aug 2020 <>



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