Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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KNEEVLE, n. Also kneevil, knevell. A bit, piece, lump, clot, a protruding knot or excrescence (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 97, Ayr. 1880 Jam.). Also intensive forms kneevlack, -lick, -elock, knievlock, a large knot or protuberance (Gregor), a big lump, as of food, esp. cheese (ne.Sc. 1960), fig., a fair quantity of anything. [′kni:vəl, ′knivlək] Mry. p.1750 Pluscarden MS.:
They cuttit aff a kneevil an' ye took it in yer han.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb ii.:
[Oat-]cakes placed face to face, with several “kneevlicks” of tempting blue cheese.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 33:
Everybody . . . who visited where there had been a recent birth, had to partake from the “cryin' kebbock,” a “kneevlick o' cheese an' breed,” and a drink of home-made whisky or ale.
Abd. c.1930 B. R. McIntosh MS. Verses:
They'll baith need a kneevlick o' gear.
Abd. 1957 Bon-Accord (25 April) 13:
Ye eence tauld her ye wis mangin' for a kneevlick o' richt real aul' fashiont green cheese.

[Orig. uncertain. Phs. L.Ger. knäfel, knevel, a lump, a heavy powerfully-built person or animal, with influence from Nieve, sc. a lump like a fist or a fistful.]

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"Kneevle n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2021 <>



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