Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BEN, n.5 (See second quot.) Dmf. 1804  R. Graham Letter to Proprietors and Occupiers of Salmon Fisheries in Solway (Jam.):
Those that run first, in January and February, and even so late as the beginning of May, called Bens, will, it is reasonable to believe, spawn sooner than another sort which begin to run about the middle of May.
m.Dmf. 1934 5 :
The word ben . . . denotes a spring salmon. There are two varieties of spring salmon in the Solway — the ben fish and the grey fish. The ben fish average about eight lbs. and the grey about twenty. Both are clear silvery fish. They seem to come up to get rid of the sea parasites on them. They are excellent eating, and command the highest price in the London Market. The fishing does not open till the 25th of February, but anglers are of the opinion they are in the Solway and in the Annan before that date.

[Origin obscure.]

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"Ben n.5". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Jan 2019 <>



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