Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
COAL, Coll, Kol, n. Meanings not found in Mod.Eng. See also Quyle. [kol Sc.; kɔl I.Sc.]
1. “A small piece of partly burnt, glowing peat on the hearth” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), kol); “a burning piece of fuel, a brand” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); “a red-hot cinder” (Cai.7, Abd.2 1936; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); pl.: “embers” (Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. Ork. Par. (1922) 150; Cai.3 1931).
Sh. 1900 Shet. News (5 May):
Her face lep as red as a coll efter shü wis spok'n aboot Tamy. Ork.1 1930:
Roast the sillicks i' the coals. Mry.1 1914:
Dinna cry oot til there's a coal upo yer taes. Lnk.3 1936:
I have often heard my grandmother say: “Kittle the coals an' gar the peat lauch.”
2. In phr. black coal, “coal slightly burned by igneous rock” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 10; Fif. 1943 (per Edb.6); a fine sort of cannel coal or jet used by carpenters and masons to mark on wood and stone (Sc. 1893 N.E.D.).
3. In pl.: the coal-pits (Gsw.2 1936); also found in Cum. dial. (E.D.D.). Also in phr. to gang to the coals, an expression referring to the “praetice of farm servants going to the bing at pit-head for cartloads of coal” (e.Lth. c.1890 A. M. Jamieson in Scotsman (2 Nov. 1942)).
Hdg. 1745 Johnnie Cope i. in Jacobite Relics (ed. Hogg 1821) II. 113:
If ye were wauking, I wad wait To gang to the coals i' the morning.
4. Phrases: (1) to bring out o'er the coals, to tak ower the coals, to scold, call (someone) to account (Bnff.2 1936, to bring — ); cf. Eng. to haul or call over the coals; †(2) to get a coal on one's foot, to set one's foot on a coal, “to go to lodge in a house where one's sleep is disturbed by a childbirth” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., obs.). Also given in Jam.2 (1825) for Rxb.
(1) Abd. c.1746 W. Forbes Dominie Deposed (1800) ii.:
But time that tries such proticks past, Brought me out o'er the coals fu' fast. Abd.9 1936:
He was teen ower the coals for checkin' the maister.
5. Combs.: (1) coal-coom, coal dust (Bnff.2, Lnl.1, Lnk.3 1936); cf. (4) below; (2) coal fauld, an enclosure for storing coal (Edb.6 1943, obsol.); coal fold is obs. in Eng.; (3) coal gabbert, see Gabbart; (4) coal-gum, coal dust (Slg.3 1936); “small-coal, dross, riddlings, as used for furnaces, etc.” (Sc. 1887 Jam.6); cf. (1); †(5) coal-heugh, a coal-pit; (6) coal-hill, “ground occupied at a pit head or mine-mouth for colliery purposes” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 19; Slg.3 1936; Edb.6 1943, obs.); †(7) coal-leaf, “a leaf of sooty matter shed off burning coal” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., obs.); (8) coal-neuk, a recess for keeping coal; a coal-cellar (Bnff.2 1936); (9) coal-peats, peats almost as hard and heavy as coal; (10) coal-ree, a store from which coal is sold (Bnff.2, Lnl.1, Arg.1 1936); Edb.6 1943 says obsol.; †(11) coaltown, colton, “the eighteen century equivalent of a ‘miners' raw' — houses built near a pit solely for the miners” (Edb.6 1943, obs.); (12) coal-wheechar, a coal vendor. For other combs., see individual entries.
(1) Rxb.(D) 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 12:
No a leevin sowl . . . did A sei . . ., bar yeh haaflang chaap as black as Eppie Suittie (wui a face aa coal-coom). (2) Edb.1 1929:
Not far away too was the “coal fauld,” where coal at one time lay ere being shipped. (4) Ayr. 1868 J. K. Hunter Artist's Life x.:
His legs bare to the knees, his breast open, his touzie head and the coal-gum nae mair than aff his face. (5) Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife and Kinross 126:
The Damps of these Coal-heughs are sulphureous and narcotick. Dmf. 1891 J. Brown Hist. of Sanquhar 344:
The opportunity was taken by farmers to make repeated journeys to the “coal-heugh,” and lay in a stock of fuel. (8) Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xxv.:
It was a wonderful business . . . to find Mounseer from Paris in his coal-neuk. (9) Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. Ork. Par. (1922) 8:
Along the sidewall two flagstones were set up to form a “paetie-neuk,” where the day's supply of yarpha [surface peat] and good “coal-peats” was stored. (10) Lnk. c.1886 Jeems Kaye (reprinted from The Bailie 1903) 16:
I wrote a notice and pasted it up on the door o' the coal-ree. Ayr. 1868 J. K. Hunter Artist's Life xi.:
The auld coach-house was turned into a coal-ree. (12) Edb. 1881 (6th ed.) J. Smith Habbie and Madge 88:
A heavy thud on the roof, caused by a coal-wheehar dischargin' a bagfu' o' black jewellery into the bunker o' the hoose aboon, startles yin o' the twins.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Coal n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2022 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/coal>
Try an Advanced Search