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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TAILOR, n., v. Sc. forms: taylor (Abd. 1739 Caled. Mag. (1788) 502); teyler (Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 75; ne., m., s.Sc. 1972), teylor (Abd. 1928 P. Grey Making of a King 6), tiler (Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 140; Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 46), tilor (Sc. 1705 J. Anderson Papers (1914) 114; Bwk. 1863 Border Mag. (Aug. 1937) 116), tyler (Bwk. 1859 P. Landreth J. Spindle (1911) 27; Slg. 1910 Scotsman (12 Sept.); ne.Sc. 1921 Swatches o' Hamespun 9; Lnk. 1923 G. Rae Lowland Hills 19), tylor (Kcb. 1705 Session Bk. Minnigaff MS. (30 Sept.); m.Lth. c.1750 Scottish Studies (1961) 223; Dmf. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 220), tyelor (Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 163); taillye(u)r (Abd. 1914 A. McS. The Bishop 30; ne.Sc. 1934 Sc. N. & Q. (Nov.) 165; Ork. 1972), tailyeor (Sc. 1907 Rymour Club Misc. 60), tailyir (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), tailyour (ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 110; Clc. 1889 Poets Lnl. (Bisset 1896) 197), †tailzeour (Lnk. 1709 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 54), †-ziour (e.Lth. 1703 Records Sc. Cloth Manuf. (S.H.S.) 346), †-your (Sc. 1721 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) II. 34), tayleor (Sc. 1742 Records Conv. Burghs (1915) 100); tealyir (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), teelyer (Fif. 1883 G. Setoun Barncraig 140; Sh. 1972), teelyir (Fif. 1873 J. Wood Ceres Races 1), -your (Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin ix.); tyelyer (Slk. 1874 Border Treasury (8 Aug.) 28), tyleyor (Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage xxxiv.); tilyer (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.). Sc. usages. Vbl.n. tylerin, tailoring. Gen.Sc. [′tel(‡j)ər, ′təil(‡j)ər; Sh. ′tiljər. See P.L.D. § 108.]

1. Combs.: (1) lang-leggit taylor, a cranefly, the daddy-long-legs, Tipula (Rxb. 1825 Jam., s.v. Jenny-spinner). Cf. Eng. dial. tailor, id.; (2) tailor's gartens, -garters, the ribbon-grass, Phalaris arundinacea (Sc. 1905 E.D.D.; Abd., em.Sc.(a), Lnk., Rxb. 1972). Cf. gairdner's gartens, id., s.v. Gairdener; (3) tailor's link, the upper link of the chain on which pots are hung from the Swey over a fire (see quot.); (4) tailor's nip, a playful pinch given to a child wearing new clothes for the first time; (5) tailor's sweat, a jocular term for a drop of mucus at the nose (Per., Fif. 1972); (6) tailor's thimble, one that has no tip, hence fig. “the bottomless pit,” Hell.(1) Sc. 1800 Farmer's Mag. 406:
Of the Diptera Class, and of that species known in the North by the names of Jenny Spinners, or Long-legged Taylors.
(2) Lnk. 1897 J. Wright Scenes Sc. Life 59:
Tailor's garters, and nancy pretty.
(3) Dmf. 1822 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 443:
In my younger days, the tailors went to shape and sew even until supper-time; and numberless are the instances wherein pawky gudewives suspended their seething pots from the upper link of the crook, emphatically called the tailor's link, in order to withhold the evening repast a little longer.
(4) Lnl. 1880 T. Orrock Fortha's Lyrics 160:
An' weel I mind the tailor's nip I got frae ilka boy, As in a crood they gethered roon tae see my corduroy.
Fif. 1912 D. Rorie Mining Folk 415:
Any one [schoolboy] wearing a new suit of clothes is given a severe nip by his comrades. This is called “the tailor's nip”.
(6) Ags. 1827 A. Laing Archie Allan 21:
O! help me, Geordie, never grumble To save one from the tailor's thimble.

2. The dragonet, Callionymus lyra (Arg. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.).

3. Deriv.: tailorage, tailor's work, the product of the tailor. Only in Carlyle.Sc. 1858–65 Carlyle Frederick ii. vii., xxi. viii.:
In great pomp of tailorage. . . . Shirts and tailorages.

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"Tailor n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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