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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BULLY, n.1, v. [′bʌlɪ̢]

1. n.

(1) A boys' game. “Two boys get horse chestnuts and put a string through them; then one challenges the other to “bully” him, that is to take turn about at hitting one chestnut with the other till one of them breaks” (Ayr.4 1928). Known to Abd.22 1937.

(2) The winner, i.e. the winning chestnut.Clc.1 1914:
I have had a chestnut the bully of 100 and more before it yielded its life to a tougher rival.

2. v. To play at “bully” with (a person). Vbl.n. bullyin, comb. bullyin-nut, agent n. bullier.Rnf. 1965 T. E. Niven East Kilbride 265: 
When nuts were in season, so was bullyin. Each contestant had a "bullyin-nut" hanging to the end of a string and with this weapon he endeavoured to shatter his opponent's bullier.
Ayr.4 1928:
A'll bully you.

[See Bullie, n.1, a fight.]

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"Bully n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Feb 2023 <>



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