Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

COOM, Koom, Kum, Cowm, n.1 and v. [kum]

1. n.

(1) Coal-dust; dross for smithy fires; flakes of soot emanating from burning coals or adhering to cooking utensils. Also fig. Cf. Gum. Gen.Sc. Abd. 1851  W. Anderson Rhymes, etc. 79:
While lums like me maun still consume Gas cinders, sclates, or smiddy coom.
Ags.(D) 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xvi.:
He took the hammer an' ca'd a' the coals fair into koom.
Edb. 1824  R. Howden in Royal Sc. Minstrelsy 134:
And black them [shoes] weel wi' girgle [? girdle] cowm, And brush them till they're clear.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Sir A. Wylie I. xxi.:
Mr Nettle, I suspect and believe that your han's no clear o' the coom o' this wark.

Hence coomy, begrimed, soot-covered (Slg.3 1937). Slg. 1932  W. D. Cocker Poems 59:
Drinkin' weel-biled tea frae the coomy can.

(2) Peat dust; fine (dried) turf mould (Dmf.3 c.1920). The usual sense in Uls. Kcb. 1894  S. R. Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet ix.:
Being ankle-deep in fragrant dust or “coom” — which is, strange to say, a perfectly clean and even a luxurious bedding.
Uls. 1904  J. W. Byers in Victoria Coll. Mag. 16:
The common custom of placing coom or peat (turf) dust . . . at the back of the kitchen fire . . . is also used among the superstitious with the idea of providing a fire for the fairies.

(3) “Dust produced from grain when first passed through the mill in the process of shillin [q.v.]” (Cai. 1905 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 68; Cai.7 1937); “the small particle of meal at the root end of a seed [of barley] — liberated by the process of ‘shilling'” (Ork. 1929 Marw.).

(4) Dust of any kind (Uls.1 c.1920); a layer, “a very small quantity of any powdery stuff” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kum); “anything much broken; applied to coals, biscuit, etc.” (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.). Sh.(D) 1922  J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 15:
Na, lamb, da deil koom o aitmeal is ithin da waa's.
Ork. 1929  Marw.:
Of a plate . . . on which a cheese has been lying — “the' war a koom o' mites apae hid.”

Phr.: in coom, into ashes. Sh.(D) 1922  Inkster Mansie's Röd 49:
I' da state 'at shü's in, shü might tum'l i' da fire, an' be brunt in coom afore we cam apon her.

2. v.

(1) To dirty, blacken, stain (Abd.22, Lnk.3 1937; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., obs.). Also fig. Sc. 1829  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 312:
Let's coom his face wi' burned cork.
Ayr. 1790  A. Tait Poems and Songs 11:
They'll coom the Patron's nose.
Ayr. 1826  Galt Last of the Lairds xix.:
They ought to have been punished, Miss Shoosie, for cooming your character in the way they did.

(2) “To reduce to a fine powder by grinding, pounding, or burning” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kum).

[O.Sc. cowm, n., soot, grime, 1503, and v., to begrime, 1560 (D.O.S.T.), Mid.Eng. coame, coome, come, comb, id. Appar. a Sc. form of Eng. cutm, coal-dust, slack, shale (cf. P.L.D. § 60.2 and § 78.3). O.N. kám, “grime, film of dirt” (Cleasby and Vigfusson), although similar in sense, would not give the Sc. forms regularly.]

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

"Coom n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/coom_n1_v>

6182

snd

Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
    Loading...
Browse Down

Share: