Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CABBAGE, n. As in St.Eng., except in the following combs. and phr. which are exclusively Sc.

1. Combs.: (1) cabbage-daisie, -daisy, “Trollius europæus. Globe-flower” (Sc. 1777 J. Lightfoot Flora Scotica I. 296; ne., w.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 76, -daisy); (2) cabbage-kail, cabbage (Bnff.2, Abd.22 1938), also used attrib.; (3) cabbage-runt, “a cabbage-stalk; a castock or kail-runt” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 76); known to Abd.2, Fif.1, Kcb.1 1938; (4) cabbage stock, id. (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.1, Fif.10, Kcb.1 1938). (2) Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xi.:
He taul' me that it [guano manure] sent up some cabbage-kail 't he try't it on fernyear like the vera shot o' a gun.
Ags. 1821 D. Shaw Humourous Songs and Poems 15:
Auld Girzie I try'd aye to gain 'er By snodly heel-capin' her hose; Sae gat ilka day to my dinner A caupfu' o' cabbage-kail brose.
(4) Sc. 1832–1846 Whistle-Binkie (2nd Series) 66:
Tak aff your hat when ye speak to a gentleman — it's no the fashion in this kintra to put hats on cabbage stocks.

2. Phr.: cabbage and kail (see quot.). wm.Sc. 1835–1837 Laird of Logan I. 80:
When the knights of the thimble give us a toast “cabbage and kail,” it is considered among them almost as comprehensive in its meaning, as “all we wish and all we want”; or, in real snip slang, “meat and claes, no forgetting the blankets.”

[Of the above, the only one in D.O.S.T. is cabbage kaill, 1681 (Thanes of Cawdor 352). E.M.E. has cabbage cote, 1579. The second element has the generic meaning of “colewort” and cabbage indicates the headed or hearted species.]

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"Cabbage n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 May 2021 <>



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