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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).

PILLION, n. Also pullion, peilion. A sack stuffed with rags, a pad, cushion (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 382), specif. one used as a saddle, a pad or cushion attached behind a saddle for a second rider or to carry luggage. Hence mail-pillion, id.; pillion-mail, a valise or portmanteau suitable for carrying on a pillion.Sc. 1707 Ho. Bk. Lady G. Baillie (S.H.S.) 16:
To a new male pillion . . . 12s.
Rs. 1732 W. MacGill Old Ross-shire (1911) II. 130:
A large male for the streeting, 12s. . . . 2 crook sadles with their male peilions, 9s 6d.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xli.:
That trunk is mine, and that there bandbox, and that pillion mail.
Sc. 1834 M. Scott Tom Cringle xi.:
His portmanteau behind him on a mail-pillion.

[O.Sc. pilȝane, a pad, light saddle, 1503, Gael. pillin, -ean, id., from Lat. pellis, a skin, pelt. The word entered Eng. at a later date (a.1620) from Irish Gael.]

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"Pillion n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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