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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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Scailȝe, -y(i)e, -ȝie, -ȝee, n. Also: skail- and -ȝe(e, -ȝie, -yie, -ye; scail(l)ie, skail(l)y, -ie, scalie; skealye; scalȝe, -yie, skalȝie, -ȝe, -y(i)e; skeilyhe, skelȝe, skellie; skilly; skila. [MDu. schaelie (mod. Du. schalie), OF escaille (13th c. in Larousse).] Slate, the material; blue roofing-slate. Chiefly coll. sing., but sometimes with pl. concord. Also attrib. and comb.(1) 1496 Treas. Acc. I 275.
To the man that brocht vp the scailȝee
Ib. 276.
To the men that set vp the scailȝe
1497 Ib. 359.
The man that thekis the scailȝe
Ib. 370.
To the man that thekis the gallory in Striuelin with scailȝee
1502 Ib. II 155.
Payit … for … fraucht of ane bote full of scailȝe fra Strivelin to Leith
1507 Ib. IV 84.
Ane dumb man in Strivelin that wrocht scailȝe
1508–9 Reg. Great S. 702/2.
Cum tegulis aut le scailȝe derect.
1515 Rentale Dunkeld. (SHS) 296.
1531–2 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 56.
1539 Treas. Acc. VII 218.
jmlx of skailȝe coft in Peblis to mend the ruiff of the grete hall witht
1541 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 285.
For vi ruidis new theking werk … with skailye cariage and all costis … xlii lib.
1558 Ib. 293.
Skailye and sclait
1574 Red Bk. Menteith II 408.
Skailȝe … for beating and making of the [castle] … watterticht
1581 Acc. Repair Doune in Moray Mun. Box 1, No. 300.
For fourte menis mait that led the skailȝe out of the hilend
1583 Chapel Royal lxxxvii.
The thak of the same is off skailȝe
1584 Reg. Privy C. III 678.
The sklaittis, skailyie, lyme, sand and tymmer
1592 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 38b.
For carrying hame of the lairdis skailȝe to Balloch
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 52.
Ane … Ile callit … Ellan Slait, quhairin thair is abundance of skailȝie to be wyn
1603 Argyll Acc. 5 June.
For thre hundreth nails to put on the skailȝe vpone the stabillis
1621 Acts IV 627/1.
That … no … persones … builde anye housis within the said burgh … bot suche as salbe covered with sklaite or skailȝee leid tyild or thakstane
1635 Chapel Royal cxciv.
With skailȝe and fog theiking
1663 Edinb. B. Rec. IX 327.
The theiking of the rooffe with skailyie and the flatt rooffe with leid
1673 Mylne Master Masons 184.
I will have all the house … covered with blew skailyie
1679 Ib. 200.
The corneice betwixt the lead roofe and the skailȝie
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 45.
Quaedam [stones] minora; eaque vel vulgaria, nostratibus gray-sclate, vel nigri aut caerulei coloris, blew sclate, or scailȝie
(b) 1507–8 Rentale Dunkeld. (SHS) 170.
Riggyngtild [and] skalȝe
1514 Ib. 290.
a1517 Ib. 323.
[A dwelling … covered with small slates or] scalȝe
1539–40 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 285.
(c) 1671 Mylne Master Masons 170.
Sklaited with skaily
1693 Logie Par. Hist. I 333.
16.. Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. III 142.
They have freestone and hardstone, slate and scaillie, as good as is in Scotland
c1700 Pennecuik Tweeddale 5.
Here is to be found marle … slait and skailly
1683 Erskine Diary 15.
(d) 1508 Reg. Soltre 162.
For the mending and reparacioun of the ouer kirk … with skeilyhe
(e) 1673 Mylne Master Masons 185.
So the same roof will serve again and the same skilly very near
(f) 1686 Erskine Diary 205.
Churches … roofed with blue skellie
1703 Stirling B. Rec. II 348.(2) 1511–12 Reg. Soltre 163.
To the werkmen that had the skeilyhe abone the kirk and put thame in the wolt
1531–2 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 108.
iim skailye
1534–5 Ib. 129.
For ane thowsand skailye iii lib. vi s.
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII 132.
For iijc skelȝe to mend the ruffe of the grete hall … xviij s.
1581 Red Bk. Menteith II 420.
The wynning of ane thousand skailȝe
1585 Treas. Acc. MS 86.
Certane skailȝie … quhilkis wer transportit … to the reparatioun of the palace
1612 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 86.
To furneis als many skailyie as will theik sufficientlie with fog the weyhous of the burgh
1651 Stirling B. Rec. II 308.
For 200 skalyie £6
1673 Stirling Common Good 85b.
For 200 skailie … £9 16 s.
1703 Stirling B. Rec. II 100.
The treasurer to send ane express to Deuchray … anent 8000 scailyie to the tolbooth
attrib. and comb. (1) 1505 Treas. Acc. III 144.
Scailȝe man
1513 Ib. IV 526.
To the scailye laidar for the leding of xvjc scailye
1628–9 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 232.
Johne Grahame skailyie man
(2) 1589 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 540.
Ane skailyie stayne, 14 d.
1601 Treas. Acc. MS 106.
For reparatioun of the sklait and skaillie work of the castell of Striviling
1616 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 379.
Ane scalyie [pr. sealyie] table
1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 29.
The skailyie craig
(3) 1626–7 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 201.
viic skailyie nailles xlix s.
1633 Ib. 366.
iic thin headit skealye naill for the wind schotes of the … windowes
c1643 Rothes P.
1000 skaillie naillis for mending the skaillie of the great haill at half a merk the hundreth
1673 Stirling Common Good 85b.
For 200 skailie naill £1 6 s.
1677 Ib. 114.
Skailie pinnes
1681 Highland P. I 319.
800 skailȝie nailes
1702 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 332.
The counsell … aproves of the dean of gild his buyeing of about 35,000 skila sclat for … publict uses

b. As a place-name element. 1662 Wodrow Hist. (1721) I App. 59.

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"Scailȝe n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Jun 2023 <>



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