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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.

Cirkil(l, n. Also: cyrkyll, -ill, sirkill, cirkile, circ(k)ell, cirkle, circle. [Variant of cerkill Cercle n., after L. circulus, whence also e.m.E. cirkle, circle.]

1. A circle. c1420 Wynt. v. 37.
A cyrkyll abowte the sone that day Wes sene
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1650.
The firmament … Frome eist to west rolland in cirkill round
1490 Irland Mir. I. 141/16.
A cirkill about the sone
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 154/5.
The proporcoun of the roundnes about a cirkle to the thrid [= diameter]
1513 Doug. vii. vi. 92.
The round tap of tre … rynnys about, abowt, in cirkill round
1533 Boece ii. ii. 60.
Ane crowne of gold in forme of ane round cirkill
1535 Stewart 1898.
Great cragis of quhin thai tuke … , Syne in ane cirkill set thame all togidder
15.. Clar. i. 26.
Circumferit with roobies radious, Betwixt ilk sirkill
1585 Echt-Forbes Chart. 123.
Fra the gait wp to the Hill of Donecht as the cirkill of the hill gangis about

b. In astronomical uses. c1450-2 Howlat 31.
Under the cirkill solar
1490 Irland Mir. I. 78/24.
Mony trowis that it is vndir the cirkle equenoxiale
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 159/17.
This Paradys … tuichis nere the cirkle of the mone
1513 Doug. xii. Prol. 86.
Strekyng on breid ondyr the cyrkyll rovnd
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. l.
Island, quhilk lyis … beyound the cirkill artik to the north pole
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 169.
The … sterris all … Within thair frostie circle did thame hyde
Ib. 689.
The planetis, in thair circlis round Quhirling about
1657 Balfour Ann. II. 72.
That terrestrial circkell quherin layes Noua Guinea [etc.]

2. A circular part or space. 1513 Doug. vi. vii. 7.
In the first cyrkill, or the vtyr ward, ȝong baby sawlys weping

3. A circular band; a circlet. 1506 Treas. Acc. III. 149.
For ane cirkil to the king, viij d.
15.. Clar. i. 23.
With cirkill of gold about his helmit cleir
Ib. iv. 1010.

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"Cirkil n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Feb 2023 <>



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