[Ads-l] "sillar"? And noun or adj.?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 10 22:10:01 UTC 2015


The reply from Robin appears to answer the question. So this message
is simply an addendum. Joel: Have you seen the scans in Google Books
from a copy of the 1896 book in the Oxford University library?

Year: 1896
Title: The Scot in America
Author: Peter Ross
Publisher: Raeburn Book Company, New York
Original from Oxford University

https://books.google.com/books?id=2ggPAAAAQAAJ&q=%22and+meditating%22#v=snippet&

[Begin excerpt]
That there were Scotsmen settled and doing business---perhaps making
sillar and meditating speeches about St. Andrew---before that time
there is no doubt.
[End excerpt]

Here is another instance of "sillar" in a Scottish poem a couple years
before 1896 that seems to mean silver.

Year: 1894 MDCCCXCIV
Title: Miscellaneous Poems: Chiefly Scottish
Author: John Laing (Troon)
Publisher: Printed for the Author by Charles Murchland, Irvine and Troon
Section: Epitaphs
Quote Page 153

https://books.google.com/books?id=N7o-AAAAIAAJ&q=%22sillar+speech%22#v=snippet&

[Begin excerpt]
ON A FRIEND

HEROIC KIRKLAND, true as steel,
Now sleeps beneath the sod;
He served his toun an' fellows weel,
An' so he served his God.

He ever was the poor man's friend
In strike, an' time o' need,
An' aften did his service lend
Wi' sillar, speech, an' breid.
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Sun, May 10, 2015 at 5:49 PM, Robin Hamilton
<robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "sillar"?  And noun or adj.?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Joel:
>
> "Making sillar" is simply the (possibly literary or archaic by the 19thC)
> Scottish Language version of "making money".
>
> SILLAR and (more commonly)  SILLER are given as spelling variants of SILVER
> (sense 6 -- money in general) in the DSL.
>
> Curiously, all the examples there are from the DOST, though the term was
> certainly current later.
>
> Googling "mak siller" gives a wealth [!] of nineteenth century examples --
> most couthily, from 1853, “Mak siller, Jock,” said a Scotch laird to his
> son, “mak siller—honestly if you can, but mak it.”
>
> (The above quotation was probably constructed by an Englishman:  it should,
> of course, read "Scots [sic] laird," unless he was entirely composed of the
> hard stuff.)
>
> There's also the cliché, "Put siller in your purse ..."
>
> Robin
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Welcome to DSL, which brings together the two major historical dictionaries
> of the Scots language:
>
>         ◾A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST)
>         Older Scots - 12th century - 1700
>
>         ◾The Scottish National Dictionary (SND)
>         Modern Scots - 1700 - 2005
>
>                             http://www.dsl.ac.uk/
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joel Berson
> Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2015 7:13 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: "sillar"? And noun or adj.?
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "sillar"?  And noun or adj.?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I am puzzled by=C2=A0 the following:
> "Among the first actual settlers from Scotlandof whom we have record in wha=
> t is now the United States, were the passengers onthe ship =E2=80=98John an=
> d Sara,=E2=80=99 which arrived in Boston Harbor in 1652. That therewere Sco=
> tsmen settled and doing business---perhaps making sillar and meditatingspee=
> ches about St. Andrew---before that time there is no doubt."
> Ross,Peter.=C2=A0 The Scot in America.=C2=A0 New York: Raeburn Book Co.,189=
> 6.=C2=A0 Page 48.=C2=A0 [Freely available on-line from Harvard Imaging.]
>
> The OED's definition of "sillar" noun does not enlighten this quotation.=C2=
> =A0 I don;t see it as Scot's dialect for "silver", which some GBooks quotat=
> ions seem to imply (e.g., "sillar sawnies", or in the OED "sillar [yellow] =
> shakle").=C2=A0 And in this context I don't know whether it is a noun -- (m=
> aking sillar) and (mediating speeches) -- or an adjective -- making (sillar=
> and meditating) speeches.=C2=A0 Or is it dialect for "silly"? :-)
>
> Finally, since the Harvard page is a transcription presumably via OCR, it m=
> ay be an OCR error.=C2=A0 I can look at an original, but not for a few days=
> .
>
> Joel
>
>
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>
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