Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BILE, v. and n.1 Also byle, biel, beyl. Gen.Sc. [bəil. See P.L.D. §§ 46, 105.2.]

1. v. (1) Sc. forms of Eng. boil (water, etc.).Lnk. 1926 W. Queen We're a' Coortin 31:
I'll rin in an' see if the wheen tatties I've on for the laddie's denner are bilet yet.
wm.Sc. 1986 Robert McLellan in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 31:
Did ye put watter on the fire?
It'll be beylin sune, Doctor. And Janet put some claiths on the table for ye.
Slk. 1991 Harvey Holton in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 132:
Syne cauldrife claitteran the scree frae the summit
byles up the bluid wi the chaunce o a chase.
Dundee 1994 Matthew Fitt in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 177:
The room wus thrang wi peepul an smells an pans fou o wattir juist aboot tae byle owre.
m.Sc. 1998 Mavis Beckett in Neil R. MacCallum Lallans 51 38:
Back hame she herkened tae the sound o the snipie bielin an thare wes an awfu stink o carbolic soap.
(2) Vbl. n. boiling also bilin, (i) a quantity big enough for a serving, whether for one person or a family; (ii) a boiled sweet. (i)Ags. 1997 Courier 24 Oct 12:
"... After each afternoon piece time it was the custom to fill the now emptier piece bags with a few boilings of choice potatoes, without the farmer's knowledge of course! ..."
Edb. 2000:
The wifie up the road gied me a bilin o peas oot o her gairden.
(ii)wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 49:
My that's an awfy cough!
Yes! It's ticklish!
You want a wee boiling tae sook, or a bit o' lickerish?
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 53:
Mixed bilins are guid an they last for a while
an suin aa the bus-load wir sookin in style.

Phr.: (1) bile the money, call by children to people newly married to distribute money; (2)bile yer heid!, get lost! (1)Lnk. 1927 (per Ayr.4):
Bile the money! hard up cudna buy a cheeny-cup.
(2)wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 147:
"Bryce," said Adam distinctly, "can bile his heid."
Sc. 1989 Scotsman 1 Dec 12:
For example, Awa an' bile yer heid MacGregor! translates as: "the MacGregor proposals require urgent consideration."
Sc. 1998 Scotsman 17 Aug 8:
... but can it really be that the children of Manchester and Melbourne will soon be exhorting each other to "awa an bile yer heid", or crooking a pinky and enunciating, in their best Morningside, "You meet a nice cless of person on the No 23 bus"?
Sc. 1999 Herald 17 Apr 28:
But try to order a glass of iced tea in a pub in this country and the answer is away an' bile yer heid.
Sc. 2000 Edinburgh Evening News 14 Jan 8:
Away and bile yer heid, Lord Provost. My message to the Capital's citizenry: just thank God you don't belong to Glasgow.
ne.Sc. 2004 Press and Journal 14 Jun 14:
"Me drive at? Awa an bile yer heid." NAE ony amount o protestin got throwe tae Alasdair o VSA as he said he wid tak it as far's Auchmill Road, an there I wis tae tak ower far twa billies wi cameras were wytin tae catch the presenter an's posh motor.
Sc. 2004 Sunday Times 27 Jun 20:
Go learn some manners. In other words, go and bile yer heid.

2. n. A heating or firing of corn stacks. Abd.9 1934:
Mains's rucks are at the bile.

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

"Bile v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Apr 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: