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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

INGLE, n., v. [′ɪŋəl]

I. n. 1. (1) A fire burning on a hearth (Per. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags., Fif., Gall., Rxb. 1958). Also fig.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.T.Misc. (1876) I. vi.:
While kettles dringe on ingles dour.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 12:
A burning coal with the hett tangs was ta'en, Frae out the ingle mids, well brunt an' clean.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 140:
The cruizy too can only blink and bleer, The restit ingle's done the maist it dow.
Sc. 1783 J. Pinkerton Ballads II. 178:
Ingle is a word appropriated to familiar fire in Scotland; to call such fire, is thought ominous among the country people.
Ayr. 1791 Burns Tam o' Shanter 38–9:
Tam had got planted unco right, Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems I. 216:
The bleezing ingle o' the morn Bade a' be pray'r and praise.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley lxiv.:
His Honour whiles creeps doun here to get a warm at the ingle.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 16:
Ham-slices in a frying-pan Hang on the bleezing ingle.
Cai. 1869 M. McLennan Peasant Life 148:
Nae warm breist hae I! It's a cauld and brunt-oot ingle.
Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 339:
When the wee pan boils briskly on the ingle.
Lth. 1920 A. Dodds Songs 17:
Beside the ingle blazing bright, I like to sit alone.
ne.Sc. 1979 Alastair Mackie in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 63:
Lug to the cushion I steek my een
and let my cheek and shouther beek
in the cosmic ingle o the sun.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 17:
The winter was cold and dark so that most nights he was to be found at their own ingle.

(2) An open fireplace or hearth, the fireside, a chimney corner (Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Rnf., Lnk., Rxb., Uls. 1958). Also attrib.Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 40:
I ne'er loo'd 'bout gates, quoth the wife when she harl'd her man o'er the ingle.
Sc. 1747 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) I. 205:
The Prince sat at the cheek of the little ingle.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 33:
A bield for mony caldrife soul, Wha snugly at thine ingle loll.
Lth. 1819 J. Thomson Poems 48:
The lads and lasses far and near Came flocking to my ingle.
Slk. 1885 Blackwood's Mag. (Nov.) 646:
The souters a' fu' croose . . . Sat contentit round the ingle.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xxvii.:
A fire blazed in a wide ingle, and the roof was hung with hams — a cheerful place on such a night.
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 120:
The goodwife was seated at her own side of the ingle.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 65:
And he kens a' Socrates As weel as your ain ingle.
Sc. 1924 Edb. Ev. News (24 Dec.) 4:
The ingle fire alowe I'll leave Tae bleeze awa intae the mornin'.
em.Sc. 1982 Andrew Greig Surviving Passages 2:
knocking snow from his boots - then hung them in the ingle by their straps, ...

†(3) An open-air fire kindled for amusement, a bonfire.m.Sc. 1808 Glasgow Herald (21 April):
Some children belonging to Kirkcaldy were amusing themselves with an ingle in the fields.

2. Fuel for a fire, a burning coal, peat, etc. (Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 49). Vbl.n. inglin (Dmf. 1825 Jam.). Cf. Eldin.Kcb. 1815 J. Gerrond Works 69:
Frae the peat-moss we provided us Ingles for a winter night.
Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 141:
I'll live nae mair single, To burn like an ingle.
Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 136:
Let him that's cauld blaw the ingle.

3. A kiln fire or furnace (Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Uls. 1905 Uls. Jnl. Archaeol. 124, Uls.2 1929; Ork., Cai., Kcb. 1958).Mry. 1762 W. Cramond Ch. Alves (1900) 89:
He admitted he put an ingle to his kiln.
s.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Some silly superstition is connected with the use of this term in relation to a kiln. For the fire kindled in it is always called the ingle, in the southern parts of Scotland at least. The miller is offended, if it be called the fire.
Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 23:
A good, clear fire having been set up in the ingle-hole the kiln was ready for the drying process. . . . The cold draughts from the doors on one side, and the blazing ingle on the other, were trying for even the strongest constitutions.

4. Combs.: (1) ingle biel(d), the shelter of the fireside. Cf. Bield; (2) ingle-bole, a small niche in the chimney-corner used as a cupboard. See Bole, n.1; (3) ingle bow, a curved iron rod suspended in a chimney for the hanging of pots and kettles on, a form of Swey, q.v.; (4) ingle-bred, brought up at the fireside, home-keeping; (5) ingle-cheek, the fireside, chimney-corner (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai., Abd., Lnk., Kcb., Rxb. 1958); (6) ingle-edge, id.; (7) ingle-en(d), that side of a house or room where the fire is placed; (8) ingle-gleede, the burning embers of the fire. See Gleed; (9) ingle-head, the hearth. See Heid, I. 5.; (10) ingle-hole, see quot.; (11) ingle lowe, the flame or gleam of the fire (Cai., Bnff. 1958); (12) ingle-lug, = (5); (13) ingle-neuk, -nuik, etc., id. (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai., ne. and m.Sc., Rxb. 1958); (14) ingle-ring, a company gathered in a circle round the fire; (15) ingle-save, ? a fender or kerb, a fire-guard (Kcb.1 c.1920); (16) ingle-side, the fireside (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Per. 1916 Wilson L. Strathearn 254; Rxb. 1946); (17) ingle-stane, hearthstone (Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 30; Per., Kcb., Rxb. 1958).(1) Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 186:
Husbandmen had bent their way, Towards their homes . . . To rest them by their ingle biels.
(2) Gsw. 1885 Ballads & Poems (Gsw. Ballad Club) 235:
And then she took frae the ingle-bole The Book.
(3) Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 23:
The big kitchen pat was hung on the ingle bow filled fu' o' water.
(4) Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 112:
Mony an ingle-bred auld wife Has baeth mair wit, an' senses Than me, this day.
(5) Ags. 1776 C. Keith Farmer's Ha' iv.:
They a' drive to the ingle cheek, Regardless o' a flan o' reek.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Vision i. iii.:
There, lanely, by the ingle-cheek, I sat and ey'd the spewing reek.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie i.:
Nae sooner hae ye gotten yersel planted lownly by the ingle-cheek nor ye begin to pawn yere trash on the bits o' glaikit lassies.
Abd. 1847 W. Thom Rhymes 37:
And whan the winter's cranreuch bleak Drives houseless bodies in, We'll ablins get the ingle-cheek.
Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine at Exhibition 31:
But noo I'm at hame by my ain ingle cheek An' bonnie wee bairnies climb up on my knee.
(6) Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. i. ii.:
Yes, 'tis a heartsome thing to be a Wife When round the Ingle-edge young Sprouts are rife.
(7) Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 26:
An', frae the flake aboon the ingle-en', He whips his carabine.
Dmf. 1874 R. Reid Moorland Rhymes 206:
E'enin' cranreuch airts her Tae her couthie ingle-en'.
Hdg. 1879 A. Donaldson Poems 31:
Welcome tae oor ingle-en'.
(8) Ayr. 1788 Burns Lady Onlie ii.:
Cheery blinks the ingle-gleede.
(9) Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce II. x.:
I'll burn ye to a cinder on the ingle-head!
(10) Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 18:
Close to the gable a small recess was formed in the side wall for the storage of peats for the ingle fire. Within easy reach of a person seated in this recess there was on the gable at the level of the floor a square hold called the ingle-hole, where the peat fire burned which dried the grain.
(11) Ayr. 1786 Burns Vision i. vii.:
By my ingle-lowe I saw, Now bleezan bright.
Peb. 1865 R. Sanderson Poems 50:
While lanely I sit cow'rin' owre the ingle lowe at e'en.
Abd. 1920 R. L. Cassie Love Lyrics 27:
I'm musin' owre the ingle lowe my leefu' leen.
(12) Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 58:
The Jingler, who occupied a snug birth within “rax o' the ingle lug.”
(13) Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 83:
The ingle-nook supplies the simmer fields, An' aft as mony gleefu' maments yields.
Rnf. a.1810 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 244:
Dorothy sits i the caul ingle neuk, Her red rosy neb's like a labster tae.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse 128:
And soon beside the ingle neuk, He sat, fu' snug and cheerie, oh.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 193:
When a' creep near the ingle-nuik, And neebors come for cracking.
Dmf. 1920 J. L. Waugh Heroes 78:
An' in the lang dark months the ingleneuk was the brichtest place on earth to me.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 16:
Thank Gweedness, I can sit at my ain ingle-neuk.
(14) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 404:
Amongst the many amusements of the ingle ring, one is, who shall say a certain saying quickest, without going wrong.
(15) Peb. 1817 R. Brown Carlop Green 176:
Tabitha wi' her tabby cats, Frae round her ingle-save.
(16) Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. i. ii.:
Syne whindging Getts about your Ingle-side, Yelping for this or that with fasheous Din.
Mry. 1790 Aberdeen Mag. 31:
While badrins is beeking her dowp at the fire, We'll currach the ingle-side roun'.
Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf x.:
My sisters wad sit pingin' at the ingle-side for want o' me to ding them about.
Rxb. 1871 H. S. Riddell Poet. Wks. I. 37:
The wanderers that . . . beak by the kitchen-ha' ingle-side.
Lnk. 1881 A. Wardrop J. Mathison's Courtship 10:
Look at the ingle-side — half o' an auld cart-wheel for a fender.
(17) Ags. 1873 D. M. Ogilvy Poems 215:
The snaw that lies upon her ingle stane, 'Twill be nae caulder, whiter than hersel'.
Ayr. 1879 J. White Jottings 281:
If love baith warm and pure, John, That grac'd oor ingle-stane.

II. v. To dry (grain) in a kiln. Cf. n., 3.Ork. 1765 P. Fea MS. Diary (3 Dec.):
All which was Ingled for seed and was of clean Otts 57 barrels.

[O.Sc. ingle, fire(-place), from c.1500, Gael. aingeal, fire, phs. orig. from O.Ir. aingeal, sunshine, light, shining, gleaming.]

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"Ingle n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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