Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Pile, Pyl(e, n.4 Also: pyil, pyll(e. [e.m.E. pile hair (1486), also nap (1591), ME. also pilus (a 1370) downy plumage of a bird, L. pilus hair. Cf. Poill n.2 f. OF. poil, peil hair.]

1. Only in Doug., in pl. and coll. sing.: A hair; hair.a. pl. The hair of the head. b. pl. The soft hair growing on the face of a young man. c. coll. The fine short hair of cattle. 1513 Doug. vii. v. 115.
Sa fowle … hir personage That for hir pilis and in sted of hir hair Feil snakis springis
Ib. ix. iv. 38.
Hys florist ȝouth ravest hys vissage ȝyng Ȝit nevir schavyn with pilis newly spryng
Ib. viii. iii. 149. Ib. vi. iv. 16.
Fowr ȝong stottis … blak of pyle

2. The nap on cloth, esp. velvet.Double pile, twa pile, thre pile, etc., referring to the relative length of the nap. See also ter(e)pyle.Also, freq., attrib. a 1568 Sempill Sat. P. xlviii. 78.
Bot thocht it be awld, … with the sleik stanis … Thay rais the pyle … thay sell this same claith … agane
1582 Treas. Acc. MS. 100 b.
Blak weluet of twa pyillis ane half price of the elne xij li.
1646 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 62.
To send to Flanders and caus buy alse mutch blak veluet of two pyll as will be ane mortcloth
1589 Treas. Acc. MS. 157.
Blak veluet dowble pyle
1595 Argyll Acc. 2 Jan.
Thre pyle welvet
1609 Edinb. Test. XLV. 122.
Aucht elnes … of pyle and half pyle weluot
1621 Jas. Bell in Glasg. Her. (1864) 25 June.
1 ½ pylle welwet at 24/6 d. the ell … 2 pylle welwet at 27 s. 6 d. the ell
1655 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 979. 1667–9 Home Clothing Acc. MS. (Earl of Home) i.
Fyne 3 pyl velvit

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Pile n.4". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: