Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PUIL, n., v. Also puill (m.Sc. 1961 T. T. Kilbucho Shepherd's Years 31), pule (Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality x.; Ags. 1901 W. J. Milne Reminiscences 88; m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 46); pull; pill; pöl (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 241), poll, pjol (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). I., m. and s.Sc. forms and usages of Eng. pool. See also Peel, n. [pøl, pyl, pɪl]

I. n. As in Eng., in Sh. specif. applied to a small marsh, a patch of swampy ground (Jak., pjol, Sh. 1967).

II. v. 1. To steep in a pool, gen. used of flax or the like. Rxb. 1902  Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 9:
When in autumn the plant had been pulled up by the roots, it first underwent the process of “breaking,” which consisted of removing the capsules or seed-pods. It was then tied up in bundles and “pooled,” or steeped in pools of water.

2. To make a hole or hollow in, to hole. Specif. in quarrying: to make a hole for the insertion of a wedge or charge; in Mining: to undercut coal (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 50, 52, puil, pool, peel). Of Sc. orig., now also in Eng. technical usage. Lnk. 1712  Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 130:
Prohibiting and discharging all persons whatsomever to break or abuse the saids highways . . . or any way breaking or pooling the samine.
Gsw. 1862  J. Gardner Jottiana 73:
To shearin, pillin hard ye set On knees, or back, or belly.
Sc. 1863  N.B. Daily Mail (5 May):
[He] was working at the face of the seam, undermining or pooling the coal so as to bring it down.
e.Lth. 1887  P. McNeill Blawearie 54:
Did ye sit on yer hunkers, wi a foot ranst against the wa' face, when ye began to “puil”?
Ayr. 1950  :
When a miner is lying on his side and using a pick to get coal out of a low shaft, he is said to be “pillin”.

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"Puil n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2019 <>



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