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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PILTY-COCK, n. An early form of curling-stone with grips for the hand instead of a handle (see 1822 quot.). Hist.Sc. 1822 Channel-Stane Ser. 2 (1883) 63:
Pilty-cocks or Kuting-Stones . . . the original or earliest form of curling or coiting stones used on the ice in Scotland . . . The stones . . . are from three to four inches in thickness, of rather an oblong shape, and thinner towards the point extremity. At the opposite, and thickest extremity, there is on the bottom (which has been artificially made quite smooth) a long, thin hollow, cut out for admitting the fore part of the player's fingers, and on the upper side there is a small hole for the point of the thumb.
Sc. 1890 J. Kerr Hist. Curling 36, 37:
The period in which this Kuting-stone, Kutty-stane, Piltycock or Loofie was in use may therefore be put down as extending from the beginning of the sixteenth to the middle ofthe seventeenth century . . . when the leverage of a handle was applied to the channel-stane it completely left behind the puny piltycock, and developed enormously in bulk and weight.
Sc. 1947 Scots Mag. (April) 68:
It is this type of stone, which superseded the triangular “cocked hat” (successor to the handleless “loofie” or “piltycock”).

[For the second element, cf. the use of hen as a jocular name of a particular curling-stone; for the first element, ? cf. Mid.Eng. pilt, to thrust, drive, impel.]

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"Pilty-cock n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2024 <>



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