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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

KEELIVINE, n. Also keelie-, keely-, kila-, keel-o'-, keelav(e)ine, keeliveyne; kalla-, cala-, calle-, kyle-, kulivin (Kcb. 1959), cale-, cule-, kalifine, callivan (Cai. 1959); gilavine, gilly-, guilli-. Also curtailed forms keelie (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Fif. 1941; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein: Rxb. 1942 Zai), kullie (Kcb.10 1941), and vine (s.Sc. 1902 E.D.D.). A lead pencil, a crayon or coloured pencil (w.Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Vocab. 55; Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 120; Gall.3 c.1867, Rs., Dmf. 1920; Cai., Ags., Arg. 1941, Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Sh., Cai., Mry., Ayr., Kcb., s.Sc. 1959). Freq. also in comb. keelivine pen, id. [′kiləvəin, ′kili-, ′kɑlə-, -vɛn, -vɪn, -fəin, Kcb. kʌlə-]Sc. 1798 Monthly Mag. (Dec .) 434:
Mr Montgomery, when lord advocate and member for Peeblesshire, made a speech . . . in the house of commons, where he mentioned his having made a note of some thing or other with a keeliveyne pen.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality viii.:
I think we can carry the greatest part of it in our heads without a keelyvine pen and a pair of tablets.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. vii.:
What are ye doing wi' yere kylevine and bit paper?
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 43:
And e'en now, wi' his keelavine, He'll draw for it a braw design.
Lnk. 1880 P. M'Arthur Amusements 75:
An' then, wi' colour'd keelavines, she sketch'd the hills.
Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 299:
An' when I take my keelievine, An' on the jam-stane draw A horse or hoose.
Ags. 1910 Dundee Advertiser (11 July):
In Dundee a lead-pencil is a “calavine” or “keelavine.”
Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (November 9):
Attention is da best kallavine for da paeper o memory.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick iv.:
Bit ye're geyan handy wi the keelyvine . . . div ye niver sen yer aal folk a bit o' a scart.

Hence keelavined, ppl.adj., marked with pencil.Sc. 1818 Lockhart Scott xlii.:
The keelavined egg must be a soft one for the Sherra.

[O.Sc. killavyne pen, 1643. Appar. a deriv., of obscure formation, of Cum. dial. killow, graphite, black lead, itself of unknown orig. This mineral is found in Cumberland and was no doubt the source of the Sc. supply.]

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"Keelivine n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Mar 2024 <>



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