Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
CYARLIN, KYARLIN, n. Lit.: the witch whose spell binds the nets or lines, the spell being broken only when the first fish has been caught. [′kjɑrlɪn] Hence:
1. “A line or net that has not caught any fish” (Mry.1 1916 in T.S.D.C. II.). Cf. saying: to gang hame wi' the cairlin' s.v. Carline, n., 4.
L.Bnff. 1938 (per
“We've hauled the cyarlin,” we have got no fish on our lines.
2. “The first fish caught on a line or a net” (Mry.1 1916 in T.S.D.C. II.). Cf. Karlen Book.
3. (See quot.)
Abd. 1898 Trans. Bch. Field Club (May) IV. 231–232:
The man [in a fishing-boat's crew] who has the least number of fish upon his line is fined sixpence, the second lowest threepence, while the rest go free. . . . The sum total of the fines is expended on viands for a feast for the crew. . . . The feast consists of beef-steak, buns, and jam. . . . The whole proceeding is called a Kyarlin; or is Kyarlin properly applied to the method of raising the fund? [The term prob. applies particularly to the feast: cf. Carline, n., 3, the feast of harvest home.]
4. A straw effigy of the witch affixed to the chimney of the man with the poorest catch and burned at Aul' Eel (see Auld, adj., 5) (Bch. (Boddam) 1938 (per Abd.27)).[The same word as Carline, n., 2. The word is not now in use but the equivalent expression The Aul' Wife is known in Buchan.]
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Cyarlin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Mar 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/cyarlin>
Try an Advanced Search