Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BLACK BITCH, n. “A bag which, in former times at least, was clandestinely attached to the lower part of the millspout, that through a hole in the spout, part of the meal might be abstracted as it came down into the trough” (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.2). See also Blind bitch s.v. Blin, adj., 4 (4). Kcb. 1935 1 :
The “black bitch” was a special bag used in the days when the meal was hand-sifted, into which the roughest of the meal and the last of the siftings were put. The contents formed an extra multure for the miller.
Rxb. 1825  Jam.2:
A worthy proprietor in Roxb[urgh] . . . had just settled every thing respecting the lease of his mill, when a third person who was present, said to the miller, “I hope you'll no' keep a black bitch?”

[Given as obs. by Watson Rxb. W.-B. 1923.]

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"Black bitch n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Dec 2018 <>



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