Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

ALAN, ALLAN, AULIN, ALLAN-HAWK, n. The Arctic Skua, Stercorarius parasiticus (L.). (Also: Aulin-scouty, Scouti-alan, -aulin, and many other names.) For other meanings of Allan-hawk see s.v. Sc. 1887  Jam.5:
Allan Hawk. The aulin . . . prob. called hawk from its habit of pursuing smaller gulls till they disgorge their food. Hawk, however, may be a corr. of awk.
Sh. 1866 ,
Edm. Gl. 4:
Aulin-scouty, the arctic gull.
Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
Alan, alen, a species of gull, skua, . . . also named skuti-alan.
Sh. 1931 4 :
Ork. 1774  G. Low Tour thro' Ork. and Schet. (1879) 13:
In the Pightland Firth saw vast numbers of Gannets . . . also the first Scoutiaulin.
Ork. 1806  P. Neill Tour through . . . Ork. and Sh. 201:
This bird is sometimes simply named the Allan; sometimes the Dirten-allan. . . . They pursue and harass all the small gulls, till these last disgorge or vomit. . . . The common names are derived from the vulgar opinion that the small gulls are muting.
Ork.(D) 1908  J. T. S. Leask in Old-Lore Misc., Ork. Shet., etc. I. viii. 319:
Hid's aneuch tae scunner a scoottie allan.
Uls. 1880  W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn. 2:
Allan-hawk. . . . The skua was also so called in Mourne, co. of Down.

[Origin uncertain. Cf. alle, Sw. dial. = auk.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Alan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Mar 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down