Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

PARLEY, n., int. Also parlie. Sc. form and usages. See also Barley. In children's games: 1. A state of neutrality, a period of truce, quarter, respite (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Mry., Fif. 1959 I. and P. Opie Lore and Language 152; Bnff., Ags. 1965); the call for such a truce or pause in a game (Uls. 1953 Traynor). Also used fig. Abd. 1723 W. Meston Poet. Wks. (1802) 6:
On it [his skull] you might thresh wheat or barley, Or tread the grape ere he cry'd parley.
Cai. 1872 M. MacLennan Peasant Life 29:
Crying “Parley, lad!” as he came to her side, and would have returned the “skip-stroke”.

2. A place of truce, neutral ground, “home” in children's games (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 122, parlie; Uls. 1953 Traynor).

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Parley n., interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Aug 2020 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: