Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

GIRN, n.2, v.2 Also †girne, †gurn; grin (sm.Sc.). [gɪrn]

I. n. 1. A snare, variously made, with a running noose, for catching animals, birds or fish; “a snare made by stretching lines across a hoop and tying running loops or horse-hair on to the strings” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), also gird-an-girns, id.; “a snare on the end of a fishing rod, for catching trout in deep pools” (Ayr.1 1910; Slk. 1949). Also fig. = a trap. Gen.Sc. Rnf. 1716  W. Hector Judic. Rec. (1878) 102:
James Gardner, Blackholm, deponed negative, except ane Hare with a Girne.
Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 177:
Wha set their Gowden Girns sae wylie, Tho ne'er sae cautious they'd beguile ye.
Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 26:
Against thy life he lays the noosing grin.
Dmf. 1820  Blackwood's Mag. (April) 55:
Civil law . . . a desperate foumart trap — a cursed gird-an-girns to grip all kinds of spulziers.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Provost xlv.:
Mr Hickery rose to offer some apologys but, perceiving I had now got him in a girn, I . . . would not permit him to proceed.
Sc. 1831  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1856) III. 226:
Fishin . . . sometimes wi' the baggymennon — and sometimes wi' the sawmon-rae —. . . or a girn!
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xvii.:
He discovered four dainty cutties, wi' the brass wire girns still roond their craigs.
Abd. 1900  C. Murray Hamewith 8:
Ae morn grim Death — that poacher fell — Gat Kirsty in his girn hersel'.
Lth. 1928  S. A. Robertson With Double Tongue 46:
When Sandy set a girn, the very shilfas seemed to ken That the hair-loops wadna grip them.

Phr. & Comb.: (1) grinwan, a stick to which is attached a girn for catching fish; see Wand; (2) marble and the girn, a game of skill. (1) Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 483:
Am making a bit grinwan to mysell to tak down wi' me to a deep pool . . . fu' o' trouts.
(2) Ags. 1934  G. M. Martin Dundee Worthies 167:
The “marble and the girn” with a prize of 3d. if you succeeded in leaving the “bool” in the girn.

2. “A twitch for holding the nose of a restive horse” (Arg.1 1937, Arg.3 1954), “the noose which is made with a halter and put in a horse's mouth” (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.).

3. A drain for a wound, a seton (Borders 1808 Jam.). Sc. 1716  J. Moncrief Poor Man's Physic. 3:
A Seton, or Girn in the Neck [as a cure for epilepsy].

II. v. To catch in a girn, to snare (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 243, grin; Ant. a.1873 F. Grose Gl., Add.; Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Abd. 1922; Cai., Fif., Arg., Ayr., Kcb., Dmf., Rxb. 1954); “to catch trouts by means of a noose of hair, which being fixed to the end of a stick or rod, is cautiously brought over their heads or tails; then they are thrown out with a jerk” (w.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ags., Bwk., Dmf., Slk. 1954). Fig. to ensnare, to corner (a person) (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also in Nhb. and Shr. dial. Edb. 1821  W. Liddle Poems 205:
They . . . laid baits that girn'd maist ilka head.
s.Sc. 1857  H. S. Riddell Psalms ix. 16:
The Lord is kennet bie the juudgemints that he deth; the wicket is girnet in the wark o' his ain han's.
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 27:
He was a terr'ble callan' for doos, and didna swither lang . . . aboot girning ony strange anes that cam aboot the doors.
Kcb. 1896  Crockett Cleg Kelly xiii.:
He had been “girning” sticklebacks and “bairdies” in the shallow burns about the Loch of Lochend.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 4:
A met twae awfih sairious-on chiels, rale leike as ther seam was ti girn the bits o moppies skiltin aboot.
Lnk. 1928  W. C. Fraser Yelpin' Stane ix.:
He was full of expedients for gripping trout and girning rabbits.

[O.Sc. gyrne, girn, a noose, snare, to ensnare, from c.1400; O.North. giren, a trap, a met. form of O.E. grin, Eng. dial. grin.]

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

"Girn n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/girn_n2_v2>

10982

snd

Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
    Loading...
Browse Down

Share: