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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PUIL, n., v. Also puill (m.Sc. 1961 T. T. Kilbucho Shepherd's Years 31), pule (Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality x.; Ags. 1901 W. J. Milne Reminiscences 88; m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 46); pull; pill; pöl (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 241), poll, pjol (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). I., m. and s.Sc. forms and usages of Eng. pool. See also Peel, n.5 [pøl, pyl, pɪl]

I. n.

Sc. form of Eng. pool.Abd. 1995 Sheena Blackhall Lament for the Raj 7:
I anely hid ae notion: a pleisunt dwaum
Yon o the burnie drawin near the sea
An yearnin tae be cheenged inno a puil,
A meenit tae devaul ...

Sc. usages:

As in Eng., in Sh. specif. applied to a small marsh, a patch of swampy ground (Jak., pjol, Sh. 1967).

II. v. 1. To steep in a pool, gen. used of flax or the like.Rxb. 1902 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 9:
When in autumn the plant had been pulled up by the roots, it first underwent the process of “breaking,” which consisted of removing the capsules or seed-pods. It was then tied up in bundles and “pooled,” or steeped in pools of water.

2. To make a hole or hollow in, to hole. Specif. in quarrying: to make a hole for the insertion of a wedge or charge; in Mining: to undercut coal (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 50, 52, puil, pool, peel). Of Sc. orig., now also in Eng. technical usage.Lnk. 1712 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 130:
Prohibiting and discharging all persons whatsomever to break or abuse the saids highways . . . or any way breaking or pooling the samine.
Gsw. 1862 J. Gardner Jottiana 73:
To shearin, pillin hard ye set On knees, or back, or belly.
Sc. 1863 N.B. Daily Mail (5 May):
[He] was working at the face of the seam, undermining or pooling the coal so as to bring it down.
e.Lth. 1887 P. McNeill Blawearie 54:
Did ye sit on yer hunkers, wi a foot ranst against the wa' face, when ye began to “puil”?
Ayr. 1950:
When a miner is lying on his side and using a pick to get coal out of a low shaft, he is said to be “pillin”.

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



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