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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

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.Rnf. 1773 J. Warner Letter to W. Country Farmers 33:
A hut of corn is a small clump or stack, resembling a hay quoil or rick.
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.
Ayr. 1999:
A quile o hey.

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 18 Apr 2024 <>



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