Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BUSS, v.1 See also Busk, v.

1. To deck, adorn. Vbl.n. bussin'. Sc. 1818  Ballad in Edb. Mag. 327:
I'll buss my hair wi' the gowden brume.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
A bonnie bride needs-na muckle bussin'.

2. Specific meanings.

(1) To dress (fish-hooks). Rxb. 1811  A. Scott Poems 18:
To tempt his saunt'ring steps abroad Wi' fly buss'd hook, an' fishing rod.

(2) “To bedeck (the Hawick town-flag) with bunches of coloured ribbons, etc. — an annual ceremony performed on the Common-Riding eve” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Vbl.n. bussin(g); also used attrib. Peb. 1935  W. Sanderson W.-L.:
The “bussing,” as at present carried out in Peebles, Hawick, Selkirk and Galashiels, means the fixing of coloured ribbons to the flagstaff of the cornet, which is usually done by the lady companion of the latter.
Slk. 1921  in Kelso Chron. (24 June) 3/3:
In former years each Corporation and Association had its own bussin' ceremony, but on this occasion a union of the corporations — Hammermen, Weavers, Souters, and Tailors — was effected.
Slk. 1935  Edb. Ev. News (17 May):
Miss Jenny Dickson, a well-known Border golfer, is to “buss” the flag of the Selkirk Shoemakers' Incorporation on the “Nicht afore the Morn.”

[A variant of Busk, v., q.v., phs. on analogy with Buss, n.1 D.O.S.T. gives three examples, s.v. bus, all of which are relatively late.]

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"Buss v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Mar 2018 <>



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