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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

QUILE, n.2 Also quyle, quille; kwile, kwyle, cwyle. See also s.v. Coal, n. [kwəil] A live coal, a glowing ember of coal, peat, wood, etc., a red-hot cinder (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 137; ne.Sc. 1967).Abd. 1867 A. Allardyce Goodwife xxxix.:
Ryaak forrat noo yer firey quiles.
Abd. 1902 E.D.D.:
Quyle is always of glowing coals of fire (whether peat or wood, etc.), while coal unignited or only blazing is cŏl.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 94:
Ye mith gies a heelie o' cheese, an' some o' ye 'ull maybe gie't a roast on the quiles.
Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 52:
Her face wis like a quile, as she glowert owre at Geordie.
Abd. 1961 Abd. Press & Jnl. (8 April):
Shove the pot well into the side of the peat-fire, pile some hot peat “quilles” on top of the lid.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 19:
... Like bleezin cwyles o caal green fire
Yer twaa een glowerin straacht at me.

[For the phonology see P.L.D. § 126. 2. and cf. Cwite.]

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"Quile n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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