Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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. Teviotdale 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 13 Jun 2021 <>



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