Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
BOWIE, BOWEY, n.1 [′bʌui Sc., but s.Sc. + ′bui]
1. A barrel for holding water or ale. Gen.Sc.
Mry.(D) 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 133:
For, now, he's left time's fleeting stage, Wha pat the Ale-wives in a rage, Nae mair their bowies he will gage, Wi' his foul stick. Mearns 1929 J. B. Philip Weelum o' the Manse iii.:
At the lower end of the row was the commodious washing-house with a big barrel, known as the bowie, placed at its end for catching the rain from the roof. Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 38:
I' the far nook the bowie briskly reams.
2. “A small tub for washing” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 87).
3. A wooden vessel for holding milk; a broad shallow dish for holding milk, porridge, broth, etc., at meals. Known to Bnff.2, Ags.1 1935.
Sc. 1828 Scott F. M. Perth xxxii.:
“I have forgotten my tallies,” said the ready-witted Frenchwoman, “and will return in the skimming of a bowie.” Abd. 1923 J. R. Imray Village Roupie, etc. 7:
A cruisie, an am'ry, some lozens o' gless, A sma' sowen bowie, an' a three-neukit press. Ags. 1860 A. Whamond James Tacket ix.:
The guidwife had caused a large deep tub to be made, for the purpose of holding the skimmed milk that was set apart for common use. This was called the skim'-milk bowie. Rxb. c.1870 Jethart Worthies (3rd ed.) 52:
Knowing Sandy's capacity for a bicker of brose, or a bowey of stiff porritch
4. “A bucket for carrying water [milk, etc.], with an iron or wooden bow, or semi-circular handle” (Per. 1825 Jam.2; Kcb.9 1935).
Sc.  Ramsay Gentle Shepherd (1783) 55:
To bear the milk bowie no pain was to me, When I at the bughting forgather'd with thee. Sc. 1930 John o' London's Wkly. (12 April):
He . . . came out to the lawn at Abbotsford where some workmen were engaged. He turned a bucket upside down and asked the men, “What did I do just now?” “Ye whummled the bowie,” said the men.
5. “A round wooden vessel as a measure of capacity (for potatoes)” (w.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).[O.Sc. bowy, bowie, bowé (1538), a shallow dish, bowl, or small tub (D.O.S.T.). Prob. a dim. of *bow from O.E. bolla, O.N. bolli, a bowl. Cf. bow s.v. Boll.]
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"Bowie n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/bowie_n1>
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