Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HOLIE, adj. Also hol(e)y; hollie; holi (Sh.).

1. Sc. combs.: (1) holey-board, -brod, a perforated board in a loom used to facilitate the arrangement of threads in a pattern; (2) holiepied, -t, hol(l)i-, full of holes in gen. (ne.Sc., Ags. 1957), specif. applied to open-work embroidery or broderie anglaise (ne.Sc. 1957). [Prob. orig. a corruption of Eng. hollie (i.e. holy) point, a kind of embroidery used in making church lace, with influence from or substitution of Pie, pie-hole, a small hole in embroidery.] Hence by back formation holiepie, n., broderie anglaise (Ib.); v., to embroider in this manner; to make holes in (Ib.). (1) Sc. 1844  P. Chalmers Dunfermline 356:
A plan was soon after introduced for superseding the necessity of committing the pattern to memory. This consisted in a board full of holes, called the hole or holey-board, through which cords hung.
(2) Abd. 1875  W. Alexander My Ain Folk 21:
This is a little bun'lie 't my mither bad's gie ye; there's holie-pie thingies in't 't ye made yersel'.
Abd. 1914  A. McS. The Bishop 12:
Ye wid lat doon sae mony loops 'at the hose wid be holipied.
Abd. 1955  W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick i.:
An aal oo ruskie wi a hollipiet seck raxt ower 'e mou o't.

2. Uneven, pitted, full of holes or troughs, of the sea or sea-bottom (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Cai. 1957).

[Hole + suff. -Ie.]

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"Holie adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Nov 2019 <>



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