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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.

Cale, Caill, n. Also: cail(l)e, cayille. [Northern ME. cale (c 1300), cal (midl. and southern cole, col), ON. kál. See also Kale.]

1. The edible plants colewort, cabbage, or borecole.(a) 1433 Liber Coll. Glasg. 167.
Ane honest hall, chamir, and butler, with a yard for to set cale in
1478 Acta Aud. 82/1.
[They] sall … paye … for distructioune of cale viij s.
1527 Treas. Acc. V. 324.
Given to William Lyell, be the Kingis precept, for lynt, cale, and corne distroyit be his seruandis at the hunting
1692 S. Leith Kirk S. 171.
Agnes Dalmahoy being sumoned … for breach of Sabath by cutting of cale
(b) 1478 Acta Aud. 82/1.
[They] sall … paye … for his caile viij s
1500 Prestwick B. Rec. 36.
Caile, erbis & all vthir thair gudis
1533 Boece xiii. xviii. 540 b.
Caill and quhat vthir small herbis grew in ȝardis
1542 Reg. Cupar A. II. 205.
All necessaris for beddis, burdis, kechin, with cayille and harbis
1544 Soc. Ant. II. 392.
Issobell Gowinlock … to be banist the towne for steling of Patrik Shairpis caill
1555 Peebles B. Rec. 222.
Thomas Iohnsone … is reput and suspectit for ane commoun [pikare] of caill
1564 Perth B. Ct. 89 b.
Tha could nocht aprehend na guidis poundable vpone the said ground excepting certane caill
1570 Peebles B. Rec. 325.
To pvnis all pykaris of caill, erbis, cornes [etc.]
1570 Sat. P. xx. 19.
For I … Dois wyn my meit ilk day … ay selling caill
1582 Reg. Privy C. III. 593.
Being in possessioun thairof be sawing of caill and lynt thairon
1627 Mun. Univ. Glasg. III. 528.
Raisines ane pund … Caill, ij s. viij d.

2. Cabbage or borecole cooked as a vegetable; broth made with this. (See also watir cale.) a1400 Leg. S. xl. 394.
He … askit hyme quhy that thai Vare nocht seruit of caile that day
a1500 Henr. III. 152/59.
Ane brewing caldrun full off hait caill
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxv. 9.
His bony beird wes kemmit and croppit, Bot all with cale it wes bedroppit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6494.
Of thair [sc. women's] counsell I reid anis in ane taill, It is comparit to butter into caill
1566 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun 148.
The caile and met quhilk wes sethand in the said pott

3. Attrib. with mercat, plant, pot, sede, wife, ȝard. 1570 Sat. P. xx. 185.
From cail mercat … Thir wordis I did indyte
1587 St. A. Test. II. 80.
Caill plantis … growand in his ȝairdis
1565 Prot. Bk. G. Grote 68.
Ane cayll pott, … ane gus pane
1566 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun 148.
Alexander Heuch … tuk done the caile pott quhilk was sethand on the fyir
1552 Treas. Acc. X. 83.
Coft and send to Lynlythgw to my lord governouris gardnar … ten unce of bastard caile seid
1562-3 Winȝet I. 114 marg.
Ȝea, the cailwyfe seis ȝow heir, bund fute and hand
1523 Carnwath Baron Ct. 10.
Thai fand hym nocht ane hous & calȝaird as … thai promittit hym
1556 Prot. Bk. T. Dalrymple 45.
Thai sall posseid & bruik the tane half of the cailȝard
1586 Edinb. Test. XVI. 321 b.
Ane littill hous and cailȝaird
1600-1610 Melvill 604.
The rycht … of ane cow-hous or a caill-yaird

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"Cale n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Jan 2023 <>



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