Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GOLLIE, v., n. Also goll(e)y. †goolly, and deriv. †gollies. [′gɔle]

I. v. 1. “To bawl at the top of the voice” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 68; Bnff., Cld. 1880 Jam.; Abd., Dmf. 1954), to roar, make a loud noise; to howl, bark loudly (of a dog); to scold (Ayr. 1825 Jam., gollies; ‡Ayr.4 1928). Vbl.n. goll(y)in, a scolding (Ayr. 1954). Cai. 1776  Weekly Mag. (25 Jan.) 145:
Syne turnin' up her wild unwarldly een. She goolly'd out, that in the lift she saw Britannia fightin' wi' America.
Ayr. 1790  J. Fisher Poems 70:
Wi' apen mouth they [dogs] then began To bark an' golley.
Bch. 1832  W. Scott Poems 145:
There's evermair a rabble rout . . . That gollie like a herd o' nout, Wi' deevin' noise.
Kcb. 1894  Crockett Raiders xviii.:
We heard behind us still the wrathful gollying of the great voice yet unappeased.
Ayr. 1913  J. Service Memorables xxiii.:
The Water Kelpie's roar, the wrathful gollying of an angry voice.
Abd. 1914  J. Cranna Fraserburgh 135:
Fu' mony a Sawbath, ook by ook, The Sooter gollied sair, As, keepin' stot wi' heed and buik, He warstled wi' the air.
w.Dmf. 1917  J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 156:
Ye've to golly here and wheedle there juist as the case needs it.

2. “To burst into tears with a great noise” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff.; Abd.27 1954). Ppl.adj. golliein', “given to much loud crying; commonly used of children” (Gregor).

II. n. 1. A roar, a fierce bark, a bawling (Dmf. 1825 Jam.; Abd.27 1954); a scolding (Dmf. 1954). Abd. 1767  Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. I. 121:
“What's that?” he gae a golly.
Dmf. 1834  Carlyle Letters (Norton) II. 249:
The kind of bark (what we Annandale people call a goust or gollie) coming from two thousand voices, at any sound or mention of Toryism and its insults, was grand to hear.

2. A loud-voiced bawling person (Dmf. 1954).

[Echoic; cf. Norw. dial. gola, to bawl, roar, O.N. gola, to howl, and Goller and Gollyie.]

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"Gollie v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jan 2020 <>



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