Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DISH, n. Sc. usages.

1. A certain quantity of butter. Sc. c.1830  Old Weights in Scotsman (31 May 1935) 15:
While some districts bought and sold butter by the pound or half or quarter pound, in others you purchased a pint, a dish or a roll of butter.

2. Phrs.: (1) a dish o' want, no food at all (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940); cf. dish o' whammlin s.v. Whammlin; (2) to see (someone) by the hens' dish (troch), to escort (someone) part of the way home (Abd.2, Abd.27 (-troch), Kcb.9 1940). (1) Mry. 1889  T. L. Mason Rafford 17:
If ye didna tak' fat ye got, ye had to tak' fat ye took in wi' ye, or chew a dish o' want for a chinge.
Mry. c.1920  D. M. Campbell W.-L.:
Should there be complaints about the dinner, the good lady of the house threatens to give the complainers a “dish o' want some day.”
Abd. 1904  Abd. Wkly. Free Press (20 Feb.):
Gin they widna tak' their pottich they sid get a dish o' want for a change.
(2) Abd. 1923  J. Wight in Swatches 59:
Wyte or Aw get ma feet in o' ma sheen, an Aw'se see ye by the hens' dish!

3. Combs.: †(1) dish-brow'd, flat-browed: (2) dish-cart, a crockery hawker's two-wheeled float (Kcb.10 1940); (3) dish-cloot. -clout, a dish-cloth. Gen.Sc. Now only arch. or dial. in Eng. Also fig. of something contemptible; (4) dish-faced, having a round flat face (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Kcb.10 1940); also in n.Eng. dial.; ‡(5) dishman, one who hawks crockery (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Cai.10 1930; Abd., Per., Gall. 1914 (per Abd.27)); (6) dish-nap, “the vessel dishes are washed in” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 173). (1) Edb. 1720  A. Pennecuik Helicon 78:
Red Hair'd, dish-Brow'd, Bladder Lipped, meikle Mow'd.
(3) Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 256:
Many a time have I gotten a wipe with a Towel; but never a Daub with a Dish Clout before. Spoken by saucy Girls, when one jeers them with an unworthy Sweetheart.
Sc. 1821  Scott Kenilworth (1822) ix.:
Breakfast shall be on the board in the wringing of a dishclout [i.e. immediately].
Sc. 1822  Scott F. Nigel xiv.:
You are going . . . to the devil with a dishclout, for you are laughed at by them that lead you into these disordered bye-paths.
Slk. 1824  Hogg Confessions 302:
Gin ever he observes a proud professor . . . that reards and prays till the very howlets learn his preambles, that's the man Auld Simmie fixes on to mak a dishclout o'.
(5) Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 162:
This is no' fair to Micky Droozles, the dishman, ava' — . . . and I dung doon a dizzen or twa of her plaistered bowls and plates.
(6) Gall. 1901  Gallovidian III. 72:
She gat haud o' the dishnap an' startit tae wesh up the supper things.

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"Dish n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Mar 2018 <>



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