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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BODLE, BODDLE, n. Also bodel (Sc. 1702 T. Morer Acct. Scotland 23). “A copper coin of Charles I., Charles II., William and Mary and William III., known also as Turners or Twopenny pieces, equivalent to one sixth of an English penny. The suggestion that the bodle received its name from having been first struck under Bothwell as mint master is negatived by the fact that, as appears from Cochran-Patrick's Records of the Coinage of Scotland, ‘no person of that name was ever associated with the Scottish mint'” (Sc. 1887 adapted by G.W.C. from E. Burns Coinage of Scotland II. 491, 502, 515, 522). Also transf. a hoard of money, a nest-egg. [bodl, bɔdl]Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 101:
He would rake hell for a bodle.
Sc. 1899 H. G. Graham Social Life 18th Cent. I. 237; Abd.22 1935:
At the beginning of the century when, previous to the Union, turners or bodles were current Scots money, the mendicant would only ask a modest bodle (equal to the sixth part of a penny).
Ork. 1965 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 17:
Whit did he find but twenty-five golden sovereigns that hid been Benjie's bodle.
n.Sc. c.1730 E. Burt Letters North Scot. (1754) I. 46:
The Bridge is . . . maintained by a Toll of a Bodle, or the sixth Part of a Penny, for each Foot passenger with Goods.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 48:
Mrs Mathers didna gie a boddle fur yon organist. She thocht organs a whiffle o papistry.
Ags. 1921 V. Jacob Bonnie Joann, etc. 30:
For oh! ahint the Bailie's back Was done a deed o' shame to mak' His righteous he'rt wi' anger swell Nane gie'd a bodle but himsel'!
Bwk. 1863 A. Steel Poems 33:
Like Lucky Lot, ne'er cared a boddle For leaving hame.
Ayr. 1803 A. Boswell Poet. Works (1871) 22:
She cares na ae boddle For gray-headed heroes.

Combs.: (1) bodle-breid, the breadth of a bodle; (2) bodle preen, boddle prin, a pin of the value of a bodle; a kind of large safety-pin.(1) Bnff.9 1927:
In an ord'nar sizzon, the birk leaf is bodle-breid at Beltane.
(2) Sc. 1828 Scott F. M. Perth xxxiii.:
The plate and mail turn back steel-lances as if they were boddle-prins.
Sc. 1832 Chambers's Jnl. (Feb.) 15:
The large pins which the common people at present denominate Willie Cossars, were formerly called bodle preens, on account of their price, only four of them being given by the chapman for a halfpenny.
Mry. 1914 H. J. Warwick Tales from “the Toon” 107:
A min' fine o' yer grannie tryin' her tawties ony day wi' a bodle preen.
wm.Sc. 1837 Sc. Monthly Mag. 122:
Covering as much of him as I could wi' his plaid; — which I fastened about his craig wi' a stout boddle prin.

[O.Sc. bodle, bodell, as above, earliest quot. 1650. Of obscure origin (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Bodle n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Apr 2024 <>



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