Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

COLL, Cole, Kole, Koll, Koil, v. Cf. Cow, v.1 [kɔl, kol Sc., but I.Sc. + kɔil (kɔil now less common than kol (Jak.))]

1. To cut, to hollow out, to shape (Sc. 1887 Jam.6, coll; Kcb.1 1937, cole); “to taper a thing by clipping or paring” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kole); “to shape or take in (a garment)” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., cole). Ppl.adj. coled.Abd.9 1936:
Coll oot the neck o' that blouse a bit.
Dmf. a.1783 Gil Brenton in Child Ballads No. 5. A. lii.:
High-coled stockings and laigh-coled shoon.

2. To clip, trim, take off the top or ends, e.g. “to coll the hair, to poll it” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); to remove the horns of cattle. Also fig. Ppl.adj . kollet; cf. Cullyat.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Of a hard storm it is said: “hit is enough to blaw de horns aff o' a kollet coo.”
Sh.(D) 1916 J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr, Jöne 7:
Ye may get da warst tump frae a coo, whin shö's koillet.
Ags., Per. c.1920 (per Slg.3):
Cole the wick of the lamp.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie I. xxx.:
It's a kind o' a book that I hae a thought anent; but . . . it wouldna be the waur o' being coll'd and kaim't by an experienced han' like yours.

[O.Sc. coll, to cut hair, to snuff a candle, to cut obliquely, to trim, from 1598 (D.O.S.T.); northern Mid.Eng. coll(e), to poll, clip, 1483. Origin uncertain. Prob. related to O.N. kollr, top, shaven crown, and kollóttr, without horns, with shaven crown, having the hair cut short (Zoëga). Cf. Norw. kolla, a cow without horns, and kollet, hornless, bald. Kollet is prob. really an adj. from O.N. kollóttr, but with the development of the verb meaning in Sc. it has become assimilated in form to the pa.p.]

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

"Coll v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: