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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

SCLY, v., n. Also scloy, skl(o)y and freq. forms sklire, sklyre. [sklɑe]

I. v. To slide, slither, skate, as on ice (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Lth., Dmf. 1808 Jam., sklyre; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 422, scl(o)y; Slk. 1825 Jam., skley; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Peb., Lnk., s.Sc. 1969). See also Sly.Dmf. 1830 R. Broun Mem. Curl. Mab. 78:
We twa hae sklired on the ice.
Dmf. 1903 J. L. Waugh Thornhill 123:
Half-“skloyin”, half-walking.

II. n. A slide, a strip of ice for skating on (Lth., Dmf. 1808 Jam. sklyre; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 422; Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 155; Peb., Lnk., s.Sc. 1969); a turn at skating (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Edb. 1829 G. Wilson Sc. Laverock 124:
Thir streets are a' sae fu' o' scloys.
Slk. 1893 R. Hall Schools 24:
During the winter months there used to be “sclys” almost everywhere.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 14:
Sic a byordnar grand bit for a sledge-skly or a yoke-a-tuillie!

[Appar. a reduced form of North. Mid.Eng. †slithe, variant of slide, as ky from Kythe, Sy from scythe. For scl- see P.L.D. § 69.]

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"Scly v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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