Purliehall # ABE S NO237163 1 110m
Curly Hall 1775 Ainslie/Fife
Curleyhall 1827 Ainslie/ East Fife
Purliehall 1828 SGF
Purliehall 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn
? Sc curlie (kail) + Sc hall
‘Curly kail or cabbage hall’? Sc curlie or curley is a reduced form of curlie kail (English curly colewort), a popular Scottish brassica (b. oleracea), which according to SND1 occurs mainly in the plural. This name would then be closely analogous to other Fife places such as Cabbagehall (LSL PNF 2, CRA PNF 3), as well as Seyba Hall KTT PNF 2, which contains Sc sybow (now usually sybie) ‘small onion, spring onion’. The later forms with initial P would seem to contain Sc pirlie (also pirl(e)y, peerlie-, pe(a)rlie-, purlie) ‘anything very small’ (SND1). This same source would see pirlie as ‘an extended sense of pirlie, diminutive of pirl ‘a little curled thing’, and it may be this curl-pirl connection that explains the change of the initial consonant from C to P.
Whatever the meaning of the first element, it would seem to belong to the humorous and ironic use of hall to apply to a humble dwelling, the high-status nature of the generic subverted by the lowly nature of the specific.
It lay on the north side of the road which leads south-east from Macduff’s Cross NBH and Whinnybank NBH and forms the NBH-ABE boundary.
Compare also Pirley Hill, Girvan AYR and Pirleyhill (Easter and Wester), Falkirk STL (Pirlie-hill 1718, Pirleyhill 1753 Roy).
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4