Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

from 2005 supplement

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BOOL, n.1 1. Add quots.: ne.Sc. 1980 James Fowler Fraser Doctor Jimmy 4-5:
We played rather an unorthodox game with marbles or the 'bools' as they were called. ... Boys would bowl at one another's "bools" and each one that missed was kept by the boy with the "glesser"; if you hit the "glesser", then you got it and the other boy had a shot at it.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 84:
Boolies knockit wi a skirl frae chalkit rings
an' beezer conkers crackt owre soon,
flin'ert on tirlin strings.
Rnf. 1993 History on your Doorstep, The Reminiscences of the Ferguslie Elderly Forum 10:
You put a bool, a marble, in your kettle to stop it from rusting.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 7:
An fit made it aa the mair vexxin, Davie hid gotten a Steeler — a great glimmerin clort o a boolie tae add tae his collection.

1. Add Phr.: to hae a bool in one's mou, To speak with a supposedly affected, over-refined accent.Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 6:
This Captain wae the bool in his mouth shouts "Fix bayonets!"
Sc. 1995 Sunday Mail 28 May 74:
I'm sorry the pukka Home Counties set don't appreciate a guid Scots tongue. In truth, I'm not overboard about their bools-in-the-mooth accent.
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 56:
... while a bool in the mooth,
micht catch us a keek at oor ile.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 57:
The stale stank o Ridicule,
The bools in the moo o Pretension,
The soor plooms o Censure,
Whyles yoam frae yon airless chaumer.

3. Add to defin.: Also in pl.
Add quots.: Edb. 1991 Dae Ye Mind ...? Volume Three of Stories and Memories from Members of St. Ann's Reminiscence Group 32:
I had been playing booley when the tuppence wrapped in a bit paper completed its journey from two storeys up, on the back of my skull. The impact coincided with me nickeling my "glessie" and it popped right into the hole. I had won two coloured "glessies"! Yobba-dooby-doo! Oh, my flamin' head!
Edb. 1993:
When I was wee only laddies played at bools
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 7:
Bit there wis naebody tae play boolies wi.

4. Add to defin.: Also a small potato.
Add quots.: Kcb., Dmf. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
bool a small potato.
Ayr. 1996:
These wee bools.
Edb. 2000:
These new tatties taste guid, but they're terrible tae clean — they're jist bools.

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"Bool n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Sep 2021 <>



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