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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PEEOY, n. Also peoy(e); pehoy; peioy (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), pe(e)oie, pee-(e)o-ie, peeoe (Jam.), pea o' ee (Edb. 1910 Scotsman (6 Sept.); pioy(e) (Jam.), pioie; pyowe. [pi′oɪ]

1. A schoolboy's home-made squib or firecracker composed of a small cone of moistened gunpowder set off by a light applied to the top (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Per. 1910 Scotsman (9 Sept.); Rnf., Ayr. 1920; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 259).Fif. 1802 E. Henderson Ann. Dunfermline (1879) 550:
Touch-paper, pee-eo-ies, etc., were the game of the small fry.
Edb. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (Oct.) 306:
Let the little fellows fire away with their cannon, and set off trains and pioies.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xxvi.:
He was apt to pufff and fiz, and go off with a pluff of anger like a pioye.
Fif. 1830 A. Stewart Dunfermline (1886) 62:
Pee-o-ies, made of wet gunpowder kneaded into a paste in the hand, were now and again set fire to.
Sc. 1889 Stevenson M. Ballantrae ii.:
Puttin' poother in his fire, and pee-oys in his window.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Stickit Minister 121:
Let me hame to mak' pyowes o' poother for the fair on Monday.
Knr. 1917 J. L. Robertson Petition 11:
Let every little deevil-boy Let aff his cracker or pee-oy.

2. An explosive sound, as of a noisy sneeze, etc.m.Lth. 1884 J. Plenderleith Kittlegairy Vacancy iii.:
He gave a pehoy that garred us start from our seats.

3. A conical-shaped bun, of the German or Paris sort, of a spongy texture. containing some currants and raisins and sprinkled with sugar (Fif. c.1910).

[Imit. of the whizzing, hissing noise.]

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"Peeoy n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Jun 2023 <>



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