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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TULYIE, n., v. Also tu(i)ly(i)e, tu(i)lz(y)ie, tuylye; tool(z)ie, -y, toulzie (Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax 10), toolyie (Abd. c.1782 Ellis E.E.P. V. 772; Ayr. 1816 A. Boswell Poet. Works (1871) 163; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); tüllie, -y, tülie, tullie, -y, tul(l)y(e), tullzie; teullyo, teuly, tölli (I.Sc.); †toilzie, †toillie; tweel(z)ie, twe(i)llie (sm.Sc.); ¶tool (Ayr. c.1805 I. Pagan Songs 39). [′tuli, †′tulji; Ork. ′tøle, -ju; Sh. ′tøl(j)i; sm.Sc. ′twili]

I. n. 1. A quarrel, fight, scuffle, broil, skirmish, struggle, turmoil (Sc. 1808 Jam.; I.Sc., Fif., Lth., Bwk. 1973).Sc. 1713 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) II. 154:
In a douell or a drunken toilzie.
Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 36:
He that meddles with toolies come[s] in for the redding-streak.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 153:
Drinking an' dancing an' brulzies, . . . The town was forever in tulzies.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 79:
He lap the stans to Willie Gled, An' soon the tweelie settled But bluid, that day.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Election Ball. xvii.:
What verse can sing, what prose narrate The butcher deeds of bloody Fate, Amid this mighty tulyie?
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley lxiii.:
Killed that same night in the tuilyie, and mony mae bra' men.
Sc. 1856 R. Chambers Trad. Edb. 39:
Skirmishes between bands of armed men — usually called tulzies.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 172:
Gude save's frae a tulzie wi' ne'er-do-weel Jock!
Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 131:
Syne, belyve, wad come the final Of our tuilzies for the land.
Ork. 1914 Old-Lore Misc. VII. iv. 155:
The men stripped off their coats, “and gaed in a hecked teullyo”.
Fif. 1929 A. Taylor Bitter Bread 282:
After a simple tulzie wi' a ploughman and not the breath in me to blaw oot a candle.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 77:
Dey fell oot, an a toillie cam.
Ork. 1951 R. Rendall Ork. Variants 20:
Skulls crackt in the tullye.
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 31:
Seeing that there would be another tulzie when their strength came back, the Sage walked from Colin Maclean's cottage and stood over them.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 79:
Breengin hame frae a tulzie ower a keg o fusky ae nicht bi Tom-na-Fuar, the auld warlord ...

Hence combs.: †(1) tuilyie-mulie, a quarrel, broil, turmoil (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.), mulie representing Eng. moil; †(2) tuilyie-wap, a game in which a chain of boys coil round a leader until in a dense mass and then push until the group falls over (Rxb. 1825 Jam.). See Wap; (3) yokit-tuilyie, a form of skating (Rxb. 1973). See Yoke.(1) Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 4:
The Papists and their faes comminglit In monie a fecht and tulzie-mulzie.
Bnff. 1852 A. Harper Solitary Hours 60:
But end a' tullie-mulie din, And try to sleep in a hale skin.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xiv.:
A teuch toolie-moolie the twa o's had thegither.

2. A verbal quarrel, a wrangle or dispute, an altercation (I.Sc., Mry., Abd. 1973). Liter.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 154:
Smiling, ca' her little Foolie, Syne with a Kiss evite a Toolie.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 42:
But there happened a tullie between the twa mothers who would have both their names to be Johns.
Ayr. 1785 Burns To W. Simpson xxxi.:
Tho' dull prose-folk Latin splatter In logic tulzie.
Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 71:
'Bout their joes a tulzie thus began.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 27:
Whin he wanted a flyte an' tullye wi' the laird o' Nearhouse.
Sh. 1899 Shetland News (18 Feb.):
A'm juist been in a tüllie wi' da maister.
Abd.13 1910:
Your tongue's aye i' the tully. Said of a person who speaks when they shouldn't.
Sc. 1943 Scots Mag. (July) 287:
A tulzie of criticasters over the remnants of a very minor poet.

3. Toil, labour, trouble, exertion (Sh. 1973). Deriv. tuilyiement, id. Chiefly liter.Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) Il. 107:
It masters a' sic fell diseases That would ye spulzie, And brings them to a canny crisis Wi' little tulzie.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin ii.:
After comin' through coontless toils an tuilyiements.
Sc. 1913 H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ i. iii.:
Wha haes a sterker tuilyiement nor he wha struissles tae discomfish hissel?

II. v. 1. To quarrel, contend, come to blows, fight (Sc. 1808 Jam.; I.Sc., Mry. 1973). Vbl.n., ppl.adj. tulying, fighting, quarrelling.Rnf. 1715 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876) I. 82:
They did fall upon ane another and tuilzeing and fighting.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 309:
Tulying Dogs comes halting home.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) I I. 185:
Come on ye blades! but 'ere ye tulzie.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 46:
For pow'r amang the herd he ne'er contends; Nor tweelies for the kingdom of the loan.
Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 126:
Yet, had he seen twa cronies tooly Wi' bitter brulze, about their spoolie.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxvi.:
That they suld let folk tuilzie in their yards.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 195:
Syne Tam an' Geordie had a bout, An tulzied 'boot a hizzie.
Sh. 1879 Shetland Times (13 Sept.):
Laek cats an' dogs tuylyin'.
Sh. 1963 New Shetlander No. 67. 7:
I couldna tink ta lat him tülly wi yun haethens.

Deriv. †tuilziesome, tuilyiesum, adj., quarrelsome (Sc. 1808 Jam.).Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling III. 81:
Ye've found the truth o' the auld byword, that tulziesome tykes come limpin' hame.

2. absol. To quarrel verbally, to argue, wrangle, squabble (Sh., Ork., Mry. 1973): rarely tr. to scold.Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. i. ii.:
[To] see sic wee Tots toolying at your Knee To be made of, and obtain a Kiss.
Dmf. 1783 Session Papers, Riddell v. Costine Proof 18:
Her father said, Let the lairds tuilzie about their own ground.
Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 346:
Ere humble bardies get a name They toolzie sair.
Hdg. 1796 Session Papers, Petition J. Tait (26 May) Proof 2:
Her mistress was continually toolying or quarrelling with her.
Ayr. 1821 Scots Mag (April) 352:
I am doons wae to let my pen fa' without tuilyiein' you a wee for the auld-farrant letter whilk ye sent me.
Kcb. 1898 T. Murray Frae the Heather 33:
My younkers gie me mair delicht To see them tulzie wha to licht The paper for my cuttie.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 138, 450:
They joost settl't doon an cangl't an tweelzie't like ither folk. . . . There wus sic tweelyin amang them ower't.
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 317:
Twa feuly ald Orkna billies tullzied aboot a peerie uddie bit o' a plantacreu.
Sh. 1933 J. Nicolson Hentilagets 17:
I'm no tirn, sukkers, bit ye maana tölli.

3. Of lovers: to struggle playfully, to dally.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 77:
Now to her heaving bosom cling, And sweetly toolie for a kiss.
Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 318:
When tulyin' wi' a bonny lass.

4. To toil, trudge laboriously (Sh. 1973).ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 114:
Owre the hill he hitch't an' hirplet, Tulzied hame an' wan to bed.

[O.Sc. toilȝie, to harass, 1375, tulyhe, to fight, 1444, tulȝe, a quarrel, c.1420, tuilyesomenes, quarrelsomeness, 1577, the reg. Sc. development of O. Fr. to(u)illier, to stir up, agitate, strive, dispute, from which Eng. toil is derived.]

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"Tulyie n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Apr 2024 <>



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