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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CUIL, CULE, Ceul, Kül, Keel, v. and adj. Sc. forms of Eng. cool (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kül; Cai.7 1939, keel; w.Sc. 1887 Jam.6, cule; Ayr.4 1928, cule, Kcb.1 1939, ceul; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., cuil, cule). For ne.Sc. forms, see Queel. The Eng. form is illustrated only in the following phrases which are peculiar to Sc.: 1. cuil (cool, cule) an' sup, “a term used to denote a state of poverty” (Teviotdale 1825 Jam.2); also used as v. = to live from hand to mouth (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., cuil, obsol.); 2. cule (cool) -the-lume (loom), “a person who is extremely indolent at his work” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; 1923 Watson W.-B., -lume, obs.); syn. cule-the-airn (Cld. 1825 Jam.2). [køl Ork.; kil Cai.; køl, kɪl, kel em.Sc.; kɪl wm.Sc.; kyl sm.Sc., s.Sc.]1. s.Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
It's been cule-an'-sup wi' them a' their days.
Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.):
Hoo ir you gettin' on? — Heth jist coolin' an' suppin'.
2. Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 49:
He was . . . a weaver (but a complete cool-the-loom).
Rxb. 1901 R. Murray Hawick Characters 18:
He has been a regular “cool-the-loom.”

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"Cuil v., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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