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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Boll, Bow, n.1 Also: bol, boill, boall, bowl(e. [Only Sc. and (late) northern English, perhaps repr. OE. bolla or ON. bolle, bolli bowl.] A measure of capacity for grain, malt, salt, etc., or of weight, varying for different commodities and in different localities.Bolla occurs freq. in Latin documents and acts from 1240 onwards.(a) 1375 Barb. iii. 211.
Off ryngis … He [sc. Hannibal] send thre bollis to Cartage
1388 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 294.
Land to the sawing of … five bollis of ates
14.. Acts I. 303/2.
Of ilk sek of corne … , and it excede a bol, it sal gyf … a farding
Ib. 310/2.
The boll sall contene a sexterne, viz. xij gallonis of aile
c1420 Wynt. ii. 442.
Ceres … Fyrst gert corne wytht mesure mete, As boll, or pek, or wytht fyrlete
Ib. vii. 3611–3.
A boll off atys, … A boll of bere
1426 Acts II. 12/1.
The boll sal contene in breid xxix inchys within the burdis & abufe xxvij inche & a half evin oure thort ande in deipnes xix inchys
1468 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 236.
Of ilk girnaill corne guidis, ij bollis, ane behind the mast and ane befoir
1478 Acta Aud. 65/2.
The soume of lxxxv bollis of mele of the vssuale mesure of the scherefdoume of Wigtoune
1488 Reg. Aberbr. 259.
A chaldir and aucht bollis off meil and a chaldir and aucht bollis off beir
1508 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 118.
The wattir hale boll to contene lxxxxvj pyntis, the half boll xlviij pynttis, and the firlot xxiiij pyntis
Swa that the chalder be the watter met contene xviij bollis land mett
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxiv. 59.
Ane browstar swoir the malt wes ill, … Ane boll will nocht sex gallonis fill
1515 Treas. Acc. V. 39.
For thre bollis, thre firlottis, smydde coill
1537 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 86.
Of ilk thre bollis of vngrundin malt ane pect of grundin malt for the multur
1549 Ann. Banff I. 24.
The meill beand at xvi s … the boill, xiii kaiks to be maid of the peck
a1540 Freiris Berw. 212.
It held a boll of meill quhen that we buke
1558-66 Knox II. 198.
It is thocht [good] that everie Minister sall have at leist fourtie bollis meill, and twenty-six bollis malt
a1578 Pitsc. II. 216/29.
All this tyme quhill August the boll of quhyt gave aucht markis, the boill of meill fyve markis, the boll of beir sex markis
1618 Acts IV. 587/1.
That four fulles of either of the foresaids firlots conteine … ane just boll
1624 Peebles Gleanings 46.
Half ane bowle meill to the drumer, £3. 6s.
1642 Strathbogie Presb. 33.
Tuelff bollis wictuall with manse and gleib
1671 Corshill Baron Ct. 95.
The defender … confest one boill malt abstract be himselfe, and for the other 7 boillis [etc.]
1675 Cunningham Diary 9.
I agreed with … about one of his 3 bowls of ferme meill
1684 Glamis Bk. Rec. i.
Halfe of the money was [raised] by the seal of bear at £14. 6. 8 per bol
(b) 1488 Acta Conc. 98/2.
A bow of ry mele, price of the boll xij s.
1515 Treas. Acc. V. 20.
Ansuerand to ane chaldir ix bowis
1531 Bell. Boece II. 298.
He delt, ilk owlk, iv bowis of quheit, … amang pure houshaldaris
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3082.
Or he had done, he spendit half ane bow
?1549 Monro W. Isles 59.
This ile … will give maire nor twa hundred bows of beire, with delving only
1600 Conv. Burghs II. 91.
Of ilk bow of bark sauld in the said merkett sex peneis
1604 Shetland Sheriff Ct. 150 b.
Iohn Scot … had keipit … ane bow of malt of hiris
1629 Lowther's Journal 42.
At Edinburgh … 4 forlets is their bow, 16 bows is their chaldron, a bow of wheat is 10l Scotch

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"Boll n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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