Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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QUEY, n. Also quei, qui(e); qu(o)y, coy; quay; quhey, quhway. Deriv. and dim. forms quea (Sh. 1775 Diary J. Mill (S.H.S.) 44), queyo(o) (Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 161); queyock, -och, -ag (Cai.); queack, -ock, quai(ac)k (ne.Sc.); quaig, quaeg (Sh.); quoyack, -ach, -ock, quoick; whaig, whack, whaik, wheyg, hweg (Sh.); double dim. qua(i)kie. [m. and s.Sc. kwɑe; n.Sc. + ‡koɪ, kwe(ə)k] A heifer, a young cow, “of any age up to three years or until she has had a calf” (Sc. 1902 E.D.D.). Comb. quey calf, a female calf (Sc. 1808 Jam.), -stirk. Ork. 1710 P. Ork. A.S. XII. 57:
Sixteen kyne and queyocks.
Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 59:
Quey caffs are dear veal.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 121:
A new-bull'd quoy, gaing three, a berry-brown.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween xxvi.:
The Deil, or else an outler Quey, Gat up an' gae a croon.
Sc. 1819 Scott H. Midlothian xxviii.:
Ye might try it on the bauson-faced year-auld quey.
Arg. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Evid. IV. 3048:
Young animals under three years, heifers, stots, and queys.
ne.Sc. 1910 Scottish Studies III. 202:
Gie the tane tae the lassie, an' the tither tae the laddie. An' the quakie tae yer nainsel, John.
Uls. 1923 J. Logan Uls. in X-Rays 76:
Everyone may not know that a “quy” is a heifer or young cow.
Sh. 1948 New Shetlander (Jan.–Feb.) 9:
Da whaig got better and lived to become a healthy cow.
Ayr. 1964 Kilmarnock Standard (2 May) 1:
19 Cows, Spring and recently Calved, Summer and Back-Calving, 12 Queys served, 7 Queys for service, 6 Quey Stirks, 1 Bullock Stirk, 3 Ayrshire Quey Calves.

[O.Sc. qwy, 1420, qwyok, 1497, quye, koy, 1508, Mid.Eng. quy, O.N. kvíga, id. For I.Sc. forms cf. Norw. dial. kviga, id.]

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"Quey n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Feb 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/quey>

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