Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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COBLE, Cobble, n.3 Also dim. coblie.

1. “A place for steeping malt, in order to brewing” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Ags. 1707  Inventory of Buildings (per Fif.1):
Item: The Malt bame and Stone Coble.
Ags. 1715  Marriage Contract (per Fif.1):
The malt bame kiln and coble and haill pertinents thereto.

2. A water hole for steeping flax. Also cobble-hole. Abd. 1913  J. Allardyce Byegone Days in Abdsh. 178:
The flax seed was sown in April, and the crop pulled about the 1st of August. Bound in sheaves and put in stooks for a time to dry, it was then steeped in water in the “lint cobble” for ten days.
Ant. 1909  Colville 175:
I was forcibly shown what the old-time cobble-hole was when travelling through Antrim. The bundles of flax are kept down in water-pits, during the stage of putrefaction, by rounded stones.

3. “A watering place for cattle, a small pond” (Mry.1 1925; Bnff.2, Abd.2 1936). Apparently confined to ne.Sc. Abd.(D) 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb ii.:
Here's a bit coblie o' fine clear caller water; we'll gi'e the beast a drink, an' lat 'er get a mou'fu o' girss.

4. “A square seat, or what is otherwise called a table-seat, in a church; most probably denominated from its fancied resemblanee to the place in which malt is steeped” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2).

[Prob. a transferred meaning of Coble, n.2, above. Sense 1 is given under that heading in D.O.S.T. (first date 1519).]

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"Coble n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jun 2019 <>



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