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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.

KYLE, n.1 Also kile. A strait of water, a sound, narrow arm of the sea. Gen.Sc., mostly w. coast. Freq. in place-names, as in Kyles of Bute, Kyle of Lochalsh, etc. [kəil]w.Sc. 1703 M. Martin Descr. W. Islands 205:
All the Horses and Cows Sold at the Fair swim to the Main Land over one of the Ferries or Sounds called Kyles.
Sth. 1726 Old-Lore Misc. VII. i. 40:
The parish of Durness is divided by a kyle so that there must be another preaching place besides the kirk.
Rs. 1760 R. Pococke Tour (S.H.S.) 113:
We . . . had a very pleasant ride in sight of the river, which as far as the tyde goes they call a kyle.
w.Sc. 1819 J. Macculloch Descr. W. Islands II. 451:
Few scenes exist in the Highlands of Scotland of a more romantic character than those which occur in the narrow passage of the Kyles, which presents, throughout, a labyrinth of promontories, rocks, and islands.
wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan I. 190:
If it had not been for the bit jaw o' water that comes through the Kyles, they would a' hae belonged to Bute as weel as ourselves.
Sc. 1935 Times (12 Sept.) 15:
MacBrayne's new mail boat Loch Nevis steamed south through the kyles and sea lochs of the west.
Sc. 1951 Scots Chronicle 29:
The Daffodil squatted, slid ahead Through the red kyle with thirty crans Of throttled silver in her belly.

[O.Sc. kyle, 1549. Ad. Gael. caoil, gen. of caol, n., a strait, adj., slender, narrow.]

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"Kyle n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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