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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

COLE, COL(L), Coal, Coil, Kyle, n. and v. Also in forms koll, koil, koal, kole, kale, cuile, quile, queyle. Dim. form kylie (Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 82). [kol, kɔl, kel (rare) Sc., but Per., Arg., Kcb., Slk. + kɔil, s.Sc. + kəil and Slg., Rnf., Ayr. + kwəil]

1. n.

(1) A hay-cock (Arg. 1990s). Dim. colie. Angus Gl. (1914) gives the form koal for Sh., Marw. (1929) gives kole for Ork., and Jam.2 kyle for s.Sc. Gen.Sc.Sc. [1826] R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes (1870) 40:
Robin made his testament Upon a coll of hay.
Sh.(D) 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 142:
“Rain, I faer. Da sooth is very greasy laek.” “Pat doo ony tap apo da hay cols?”
Mry. 1909 Colville 146:
The hay was done up first in colies, then tramp-colies, and last in hey-soos or trances.
Ags. 1710 Dundee Presbytery Recs. (22 Feb.):
As if it had been a battered coal of hay.
Rnf. 1815 W. Finlayson Simple Sc. Rhymes 61:
How aften we amang the queyles o' hay, In ithers arms — full many an e'ening lay!
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet xxxvii.:
There was a little “cole” or haystack of the smallest sort close at hand.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) II. 277:
Get the kye milkit — the hay raikit — the kyles turned, and the wabs watered.

(2) “A protecting cover of straw placed over the top of a hay- or corn-stack, esp. against rain” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Also head koll, koll-tap, koll-tett, id. (Ib.). Colville (1909) 146 gives head-koil, koil-tett, id., for Sh.

2. v. To put up (hay) in cocks. Ppl.adj. coll't and vbl.n. quilin', kaling (Sc. 1855 J. C. Morton (ed.) Cycl. Agric. (1869) II. 724).Sc. 1844 Auld Gudeman in Book Sc. Songs (ed. Whitelaw) 200:
There's peats to cast, the hay's to cuile.
Ork. 1766 P. Fea MS Diary (30 Aug.):
Got a part of my Hay colled.
Ork. 1934 E. Linklater Magnus Merriman xxiii.:
For a day he worked stoutly, coling the cut hay, and found that he remembered how to make the coles weatherproof and fit to run the rain.
Abd.(D) 1923 R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert viii.:
It didna leuk verra safe for a haughie o' coll't hey o' Knowies'.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 55:
They're baith o' them thrang at the quilin'.
Slk. 1829 Hogg Shepherd's Calendar I. ix.:
To coil a part of her father's hay.

[Not recorded in O.Sc., but the v. at least must have existed to form the derivatives coltar, 1558, a maker of hay cocks, and coilling, 1680, the putting (of hay) into cocks, both given in D.O.S.T. Origin uncertain; O.Fr. coillir (Mod.Fr. cueillir), and O.N. kollr, the top, covering of a haystack, have both been suggested.]

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"Cole n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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