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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PODLIE, n. Also pod(d)l(e)y, poddl(i)e, poodlie, podla, podle; ¶potley, -ie.

1. The young of the coalfish, Gadus virens, at the second stage of its development (Sc. 1808 Jam.; e.Sc. 1903 G. Sim FaunaDee” 238, poodlie; ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1966); the true pollack, Gadus pollachius. Also in forms poddlen, podling (Abd. 1815 J. Arbuthnot Fishes 7), podler, id., see 1838 quot. Also attrib. and applied to other small fish (Ayr. 1966).Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife 50:
Our fishers call it a Podly.
Bnff. 1782 Caled. Mercury (14 Aug.):
The podlas chacen herrin' fry.
Sh. 1784 A. C. O'Dell Hist. Geog. Sh. (1939) 114:
The Gray Fish or Podlies as you call them, were never Scarcer.
Abd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVI. 551:
There are great varieties of gray fish, called seaths, podlers and baddocks, which appear to be of one species.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 38:
Till feint a haddock, ling, or potley, Remain'd o' a' that i' the boat lay.
Bwk. 1838 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club I. 173:
When young it is called with us the Podlie; when somewhat larger the podler; and when full grown the Coal-sey, or Black-coal-sey.
Abd. 1881 J. Ritchie G. Tough's Squeel (1931) 13:
We'd row a bulgar roon the Blackrig, Or fish for poddlens aff the Dilecraig.
Fif. 1887 S. Tytler Logie Town II. i.:
Whit-ens, pod-lies, par-tens.
Sc. 1892 Stevenson Across the Plains 209:
The podley is hardly to be regarded as a dainty for the table.
Ags. 1904 J. M. Campbell Notes on Bell Rock 58:
Podley-fishing has been fairly successful during the month.
Abd. 1943 W. Forsyth Guff o' Waur 17:
Smatchit loons wi' poddley wan's Gang scamperin' roun' the pier.
Ags. 1952 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 358:
There are others — “monks” and “inks”, “greybacks”, “poodlies and pickens” and “congers”.
ne.Sc. 1952 John R. Allan North-East Lowlands of Scotland (1974) 223:
At other times, with a threepenny line and a hapenny hook, I have fished for podlies off the pier at Fraserburgh.
Dundee 1987 Norman Lynn Row Laddie Sixty Years On 32:
Through Craig Street, along by the Unicorn and the illicit podle fishers,...

2. A tadpole (Sc. 1808 Jam., podle; Ags., Fif. 1966, podlie).

3. A red-breasted minnow (Lnk. 1927, potlie; Lth., Rxb. 1966).

4. A term of affection for a child (Abd. 1900).Ags. 1861 Edb. Ev. Courant (22 Oct.):
The father, who is rather inclined to day-dreaming of a certain kind, on seeing his son spluttering in the water, is said to have looked on with a ghastly expression of countenance, dolefully exclaiming, “Puir podley! puir podley! are ye gain to be droon'd!” A bystander at once rescued the child.

[O.Sc. podlo, id., 1525, podly, 1684, reduced forms of podlo(c)k, 1502, phs. an early form of Eng. pollack, = 1. Cf. haddie = haddock, etc.]

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"Podlie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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