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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Byle, n. Also: byll, byill; bile. [ME. bile, byle (also e.m.E. and mod. dial.), byil, OE. býl.] A boil. a1400 Leg. S. xxxviii. 294.
With a faire clath scho clengit thare bilis
c1420 Wynt. ii. 575.
In thare bleddyris boldnyt bylys
c 1420 Liber Calchou 450.
The venome … makis a byle or a bolge in som part
c1420 Ratis R. 180.
The fewir agow, … The fellone byll that dois men dee
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 395.
Becaus scho was sa deformait With bylis blak ouirspred in hir visage
c1500 Rowll Cursing 50.
Brukis, bylis, blobbis and bleistiris
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2298.
Sanct Roche, weill seisit, men may see, Ane byill new brokin on his thye
a1568 Bann. MS. fol. 135/51.
A byle that is lang beilit brekis at the last
c1590 Fowler I. 101/123.
The ranckled … rage that … swellis the bloode, & it infectis maliciouslye with byillis
1590-1 Bruce II Serm. 1 b.
The kinde of the disease … was a pestilentious byle, … ane attrie kind of byle
1600-1610 Melvill 576.
His daughter, on quhom the byles brak furth
1624 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 145.
The said Hew being diseasit of ane byll, ȝe … tuiched it & he was haill
1662 Crim. Trials III. 618.
If any of them sould twitch or tramp wpon any of it, … it sould strik thaim with byllis
fig. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 164.
Now sall the byle all out brist, that beild has so lang
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. lv.
Gif ony man findis his bile opnit for purgatioun be me
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. vi. 10.
I feill a byll within my bosum beill

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"Byle n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Jan 2023 <>



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