Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
CRAN, Crane, n.2 and v.2 [krɑn]
1. n. A measure of capacity for fresh herrings before cleaning, fixed by the Fishery Board at 37½ Imperial Gallons, roughly the contents of four baskets or, more precisely, one barrel. Gen.Sc. Now in gen. use also in Eng.
Sc. 1930 P. F. Anson Fishing Boats 18:
On coming alongside, the fish are gathered up by special wooden shovels, or handscoops, and unloaded in a round basket, supposed to hold a quarter of a “cran.” w.Lth. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 II. 7:
The curers seldom purchased at a higher price than 7s. a cran or barrel. w.Islands 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 282:
They both fished, and bought the herring fresh from the country people, at the great price of from 9s. to 12s. per crane (which is the full of a barrel of green fish as taken out of the net).
2. v. Of herrings: to measure out by baskets; to check the number of basketfuls. Hence cranner, one who does this.
Sh. 1935 in Manchester Guardian Weekly (27 Sept.) 1/2:
The catch is “cranned” or “measured” out in baskets. Abd. 1947 29 :
According to my father, when he was a boy in Fraserburgh, say 50 years ago, the boys and students on holiday used to cran for the different fish-curers, i.e. act as tallymen and count the baskets of herring as they were unloaded, their count acting as a check on that of the fishermen. Persons employed on this task were known as cranners.
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"Cran n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jan 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/cran_n2_v2>
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