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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Quy, Qui, n.2 Also: quye, quhy, quey; Quoy. [Only in Orkney (? and Shetland), appar. f. ON kví a fold, pen, enclosure for animals. Cf. Quyland.] An enclosure constructed on waste-land outside the bounds of a township, originally as a fold for domestic animals, but later brought under cultivation; an area of waste-land thus reclaimed as arable; a piece of such land.In 16th and 17th c. sources, esp. for Orkney, ‘quoylands and outbreks are equated’ (Fenton The Northern Isles (1978) 55), see Outbrek n. For some discussion, see Fenton op. cit. 29–30. 1490 Rec. Earld. Orkney 200.
For ane half penny land … and a qui called Fewqui in the parochin of Stromnes
1510 Ib. 86.
As anent the qui callit Hurre
1516 Ib. 91.
The sed lord tuik fra the said Jhone Schalte ane quj in Zetland … for his quj of Hwrre quhilk wes the kingis land
1546 Ib. 231.
To have sauld … iij merkis land … wyth ane quye callit Bewmonte
1563 Prot. Bk. G. Grote 54.
[The penny-land of Hammer, with a] quy [called Quygill … the penny-land called the Quyis, with the] quy [called Quynenea]
1565 Reg. Privy S. V ii 7/2.
The litill quhy in Quyes
1566 Rec. Earld. Orkney 122.
Quhairfor I command … that ye … arest the corne of that quy … and at na man intromet nather with the quy nor corne
1569 Ib. 127.(b) ?c1644 Orkney Rentals iii 24.
The queyes of Grahmsay fewed lykewayes

b. As the first or second element in a place, chiefly or only a farm, name. For examples, see some of the quots. above. Cf. Quoy n.2 b.

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"Quy n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Feb 2024 <>



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