pile1 (1213)

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pile1 (1213)

[ gdw]

[ FEW: 8,508b pilula; Gdf: 6,157c pile 1; GdfC: ; TL: 7,935 pile 4; DEAF:  pile 3; DMF: ; TLF: ; OED:  pill n.3; MED:  pille n.; DMLBS: ]

The word pile, as a shortened form of pilule, is rare in Continental French, but becomes the standard in English (with the earliest attestation from ca.1400). The OED (Third Edition, 2006) is uncertain about the immediate transmission of this form, pointing to some possible influence from Dutch pil and German pille. However, the shortened form seems to have been common in Anglo-Norman, providing a more direct potential basis for the English term. DMLBS, under pila 4 (2279b, ‘ball’), lists ‘pill, pellet’ as sense 2g. However, with only one citation listed by the DMLBS, this sense seems to be rare, making the Latin lexeme perhaps an unlikely source for English pill and Anglo-Norman pile.


1pharm.med.pill, medicinal ingredients compressed into a small bolus or pellet
( 1213; MS: 1213 )  si lor voeil doner Beivres e mescines e piles  6661
( s.xiii2/4; MS: s.xiii3/4 )  Les pilles Cophonis si sunt bones a doner une fois la semaine por goute artetique  i 247
( MS: s.xiii3/4 )  ensemble et faites piles si come jo vos ai dit. Et si le donés [...] ou en vin ou en ewe  332.5
( MS: s.xv )  Fetes quere lé piles le roy Roger, si en pernez checun semayne deus [...]  137.E231
pile arabi
pile diacastoree
pile orré
pelote  pilecte  pillule 
This is an AND2 Phase 4 (N-O/U-P-Q) entry. © 2013-17 The Anglo-Norman Dictionary. All rights reserved. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom.