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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.

TWILT, n., v. Also twolt, twult, toalt, towlt (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), twalt, tolt. Sc. forms, also in Eng. dial., of Eng. quilt. [twɪlt, twʊlt; s.Sc. + tolt]

I. n. A quilt, quilted bed covering (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 454; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; I.Sc., Cai., em.Sc.(a), wm.Sc., Rxb. 1973). Also attrib.Mry. 1708 E. D. Dunbar Social Life (1865) 207:
An Inglish blanket and a twilt.
Rs. 1724 W. MacGill Old Rossshire (1909) 136:
Bed with yellow hingings and twilt covering.
Rnf. 1751 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1878) II. 292:
Two bed twilts, one figured cotton bed mantle.
Per. 1816 J. Duff Poems 56:
Blankets, sheets and stripit-tykin', Twilts an' cov'rin's to your likin'.
Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine at Exhibition 34:
“Look what fine carpets, faither.” “Bed twults, I think.”
Ork. 1949 “Lex” But-en Ballans 8:
Last week I wis washan wir blankets, a twilt an twa orra tings.
Cai. 1958 Edb. John o' Groat Liter. Soc.:
A caff seck an' a patchwork “twilt”.

II. v. To quilt (Sc. 1825 Jam.; I.Sc., Ags., Fif., Rxb. 1973). Hence twilted, quilted, twilting, vbl.n., quilting, comb. twilting basket, a padded or quilted basket.Sc. 1708 Edb. Gazette (1–8 June):
Fine Cradles, fine Twilting Baskets.
Edb. 1734 Caled. Mercury (7 Oct.):
2 white twilted peticoats.
Rnf. 1760 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876) 155:
Two Twilted Covers.
m.Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 129:
It was showery-like, and no' very warm, so I put on my twilted petticoat.
Rxb. 1958 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 31:
Some weemen “took in stairs teh wesh” and others munteet at h'yim, and “toltin” was common.

[Forms in tw- are found in Eng. from the 15th c., poss. under the influence of twilled, twill. See also T, letter, 4. O.Sc. twilt, n., 1673, twilled, 1685.]

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"Twilt n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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