Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
COW, COWE, KOW, n.4 A hobgoblin; an object of terror. Known to Cai.7 1940. Cf. bu-kow, s.v. Bo, n.1, and Wirricow. [kʌu]
Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace vii. 190:
With Wallace also, Earl Malcom's gone, . . . And Campbel kind, the good Knight of Lochow, To Suthron still a fearfull grievous cow. Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 243:
And he [Cupid] appear'd to be nae Kow, For a' his Quiver, Wings and Bow. Sc. 1832–46 A. Rodger in Whistle-Binkie (1st Series) 56:
O what a brow has Betty! O sic a cowe is Betty! Her vera glow'r turns sweet to sour, Sae baleful is the power o' Betty. Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems and Songs 264:
She is not fear'd for ony cowe, She'll sit and at it play bow wow.
Hence †cowie, “a species of brownie reputed to have frequented Goranberry, Liddel, a century ago” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).
Rxb. 1864 A. Jeffrey Hist. Rxbsh. IV. 242:
It is not said that ever the cowie was actually seen; he was only heard.
†Combs.: 1. cow-carl, “a bugbear. One who intimidates others” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.2);
2. cowman, (1) = 1 (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (2) “a designation sometimes given by the vulgar to the devil, esp. to frighten children” (Ib.).[O.Sc. has cow, kow, of obscure origin and meaning, c.1500 and 1603 (D.O.S.T.), but used in somewhat similar sense to above. Perhaps related to Cow, v.2, n.3]
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Cow n.4". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Mar 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/cow_n4>
Try an Advanced Search