Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BULLER, BULDER, Bouller, Builier, Bollar, n. and v. [′bʌl(d)ər, ′byl(d)ər, ′bulər, ′bɔlər]

1. n.

(1) “A loud gurgling noise” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); “a loud roar” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Abd.19, Ags.2 1937). Ags.(D) 1922 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden xi.:
Sandy lut a buller o' a roar.

(2) Irrelevant or blustering talk; nonsense; “a blustering lie” (Cai.1 c.1920). In pl. = “a nickname for a rough-spoken bully” (Cai.7 1937, bulders). Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 16:
Noo, a' this bulder o' Paetie's wus doonricht lees.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
What a b[ulder] o' nonsense.

(3) “A spasmodic crying” (Cai. 1914 T.S.D.C. I. s.v. bouller).

(4) A bubbling circle or whirlpool; a bubble. Sh.(D) 1877 G. Stewart Sh. Fireside Tales (1892) 69:
An' guid ower da face o' da stane in a bulder.
Rxb. 1923 Kelso Chron. (26 Oct.) 2/8:
He [a salmon] made one splendid spurt, and in an instant was through the “slap” in the cauld and indulged in a glorious revel in the “Bullers.”
Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 184:
“But I hope you have not indeed drowned the men,” said I. “Ou na, only keepit them down till I took the power fairly frae them — till the bullers gae owr coming up.”

2. v.

(1) To make a loud gurgling sound; “to emit such a sound as water does, when rushing violently into any cavity, or forced back again” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Abd.22, Ags.1 1937). Ppl.adj. bulleran'. Sc. 1820 Marmaiden of Clyde in Edb. Mag. (May) 422:
The bulleran' waves o' bludie Clyde, Swash't by wi' rowt and rair.
Gall. c.1820 S. Wilson in Bards of Gall. (ed. Harper 1889) 37:
An' aye he watches the Deadman's weil, Where it boils an' bullers deep an' dark.

†(2) “To make any rattling noise; as when stones are rolled downhill, or when a quantity of stones falls together” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).

(3) “To bellow, to roar as a bull or cow does. Also pronounced bollar (Ags.)” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.2, Fif.10 1937; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., buller, builler); to shout. Sc. 1920 D. Rorie Auld Doctor 15:
Noo, at lang last his guts was rackit Till Tam was bullerin' fair distrackit, An' sune wi' roar succeedin' roar He fosh in a' the fowk neist door.
Sh.(D) 1918 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. I. 164:
Up wi dee, up wi dee, an knock an bulder an get dem oot o dir beds.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 79:
He does buller like a nowt, An' swear an' curse.

(4) To bluster, to blurt (out). Ork. 1929 Marw.:
He just buldered oot a lot o' nonsense when I asked him.

(5) To speak quickly and unintelligibly. Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
To b[ulder] Dutch.

(6) “To stutter in speech” (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 67, buller).

(7) fig. (See quot.) Dmf. 1894 J. Shaw in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 144:
Applied metaphorically to the quick bursting of buds by heat and rain, and to a great growth. “Everything's bullering out.”

[O.Sc. buller, n., a bubble, a bubbling or boiling up of water; v.1, to boil or bubble up; v.2, to roar or bellow (D.O.S.T.); cf. O.Fr. bullir, Icel. bulla, to boil; Sw. bullra, Dan. buldre, to rumble. Idg. *bhel, to swell, rise (Torp).]

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"Buller n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Jul 2020 <>



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