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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HOLIE, adj. Also hol(e)y; hollie; holi (Sh.).

1. Sc. combs.: (1) holey-board, -brod, a perforated board in a loom used to facilitate the arrangement of threads in a pattern; (2) holiepied, -t, hol(l)i-, full of holes in gen. (ne.Sc., Ags. 1957), specif. applied to open-work embroidery or broderie anglaise (ne.Sc. 1957). [Prob. orig. a corruption of Eng. hollie (i.e. holy) point, a kind of embroidery used in making church lace, with influence from or substitution of pie s.v. Pie-hole, a small hole in embroidery.] Hence by back formation holiepie, n., broderie anglaise (Ib.); v., to embroider in this manner; to make holes in (Ib.).(1) Sc. 1844 P. Chalmers Dunfermline 356:
A plan was soon after introduced for superseding the necessity of committing the pattern to memory. This consisted in a board full of holes, called the hole or holey-board, through which cords hung.
(2) Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 21:
This is a little bun'lie 't my mither bad's gie ye; there's holie-pie thingies in't 't ye made yersel'.
Abd. 1914 A. McS. The Bishop 12:
Ye wid lat doon sae mony loops 'at the hose wid be holipied.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick i.:
An aal oo ruskie wi a hollipiet seck raxt ower 'e mou o't.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 87:
Fush and fusher-loon gaed sweemin aff atween rocks hotchin wi hairy-hutcheons, till they wan ower aside a cove o holie-pied, near nyakit rock.

2. Uneven, pitted, full of holes or troughs, of the sea or sea-bottom (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Cai. 1957).

[Hole + suff. -Ie.]

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"Holie adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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