Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations & symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HASSBILES, Also haas biles (Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. Gl.) and hass boils (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Infantile eczema, esp. of the head (Ork. 1887 Jam., Ork. 1956); boils or suppurating sores on the head.Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 224:
Na, I canna tell dee whit Patie dee'd o' — maybe hassbiles.
Ork. 1931 J. Leask Peculiar People 68:
It was much the same with a children's trouble known in Orkney as “hassbiles.” It is a kind of weeping eczema on the head which exudes matter and ultimately develops into large mattery sores.

[O.N. hauss, skull + Bile, n.3, boil, the form being probably due to confusion with hass, hause, throat.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Hassbiles n. pl.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Jan 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: