Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GLAMSE, n., v. Also glams(h). [Sh., Ork. glɑms; Cai. glɑmʃ]

I. n. 1. A snap, “a quick awkward bite or attempt to bite” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh.10, Ork.5, Cai.7 1954). Ork. 1929  Marw.:
He [dog] made a glamse for me just as I was gaan tae stroke him.

2. “A hurried, furtive look round, a suspicious glance at something” (Ib.). Hence glamsy, adj., “applied to a man, or horse, etc.; looking round with quick, scared or furtive glances, unsteady in deportment and liable to make sudden, unexpected starts” (Ib.).

II. v. 1. To snap, to make an attempt to bite (Ags. c.1900; Ork. 1929 Marw.); to (attempt to) grab greedily (Ork.5 1954). Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
De dog glamst at me.

2. “To make a snapping, smacking noise with the lips when eating” (Ork. 1929 Marw.), to eat greedily (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 73, glamsh; Cai.4 c.1920; Mry. 1954).

[Norw. dial. glamsa, to make hasty, clumsy attempts to grip, Dan. dial. glamse, to bite or snap at, Sw. dial. glamsa, to chew violently. Cf. also Glaum, v.1, n.]

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"Glamse n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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