Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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QUILE, n.1, v. Also quyle, queyl(e), quoil; kyle. Dim. kylie. See also Cole. [kweil]

I. n. A small haycock, “the small heap into which hay is at first gathered when it is raked from the ground” (Rnf. 1825 Jam., quyle; s.Sc. Ib., kyle; Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 172; wm.Sc., Kcb. 1967). Also in Eng. dial. Ayr. a.1825 Baffled Knight in Child Ballads No. 112 E. ii.:
What if I should lay thee down, Amang the quiles of hay, maid?
Per. 1830 Per. Advertiser (5 Aug.):
The crop [of hay] is . . . much injured by the quantity of rain which fell, from the time of cutting, till it was got into the quoil.
Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 82:
They were only bits o' kylies, But they looked sae nice an' snug.
Arg. 1954 D. Mackenzie Farmer in W. Isles 197:
The quoils and little net-covered tripod ricks.

II. v. To rake hay into cocks (Rnf. 1825 Jam., quyle; s.Sc. Ib., kyle; wm.Sc., Gall. 1967). Bwk. 1900 A. T. G. Ann. Thornlea 42:
When evening came, the field was kyled.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 55:
They're baith o' them thrang at the quilin'.

[Appar. variants of Eng. coil, a spiral mass, to gather into such a heap, O.Fr. coillir, to gather. The phonological relationship with Cole, id., if any, is obscure. Cole suggests rather a connection with O.N. kollr, top, head, rick.]

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"Quile n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Jun 2021 <>



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