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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

BULLET, Bullat, Boolad, Billet, n. and v. [′bʌlət, ′bɪlət, ′bɪ̢lət Sc.; ′buləd Cai.]

1. n. ‡(1) A game played with a round iron ball, like bowls.Sc. 1701–1731 R. Wodrow Analecta (Maitland Club 1842) I. 73:
The Marquise of Argyle . . . was playing at the bullets with some gentlemen of the country.
Clc. 1874 J. Crawford Memorials Alloa 121:
Game of "Bullets". As this game has long since become obsolete, it is necessary to state that in its performance a leathern strap was firmly buckled to the right wrist, and the loose part being wound over an iron ball, the projectile on escaping from the hand, gained a degree of velocity which often endangered the locomotives of biped or quadruped that it might encounter.
Gsw. 1927 D. Murray Old College of Glasgow 426:
Other outside games were Bowls, Quoits and the Bullet, in some places known as Knappar. This was an iron ball . . . hurled along a level surface, the contest being who would hurl it furthest. [Played in author's boyhood.]

(2) “A large stone” (Crm. 1911 J. Watson W.-L., bullat; 1913 D. Finlayson W.-L., billet); “any rounded boulder found in till or boulder clay” (Cai.7, boolad; Bnff.2, Arg.1 1937).Mearns 1809 G. Robertson Gen. View Agric. Kcd. 334:
But the stones there were little calculated for building, being all round, water-worn bullets.
Fif. 1992 Fife Advertiser (8 May)  2:
There were different names for types of stones on the shore, such as bullets (large, round smooth stones); ...

†Comb.: bulletstane, “a round stone” (Sc. 1808 Jam.), “used as a bullet for throwing along the highway in the game of Lang Bullet” (Sc. 1818 Sawers Dict. Sc. Lang. 26).

(3) “A hail-stone” (Bnff.2 1937; Abd.13 1914). In pl.: “a shower of hail or frozen snow. Also called bullety rain” (Bch. 1914 T.S.D.C. I.).

(4) The fruit of a potato plant. Arran 1845 Trans. Highl. Soc. 489:
No potatoes immediately raised from the bullets, as the apples are called here, were planted in Arran last season.

2. v. To hail.Ayr.2 1914:
It's bulletin' on yet.

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"Bullet n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jun 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/bullet>

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