Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GOO, n.2 Also gow, gu(e). n.Sc. forms of Eng. gull, any bird of the genus Larus (Mearns 1825 Jam., goo, gu'; Abd. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 207, gow; Mry.1 1925, gow; Bnff. 1936 C. W. Thomson School Humour 160, gow; ne.Sc. 1954, goo, gow). Also dim. gooie, used as a term of endearment to children (Abd. 1948). [gu:; gʌu (in coastal areas)] Kcd. 1845  Stat. Acc.2 XI. 327–328:
It is sometimes called the Gow or “Goo”-house, perhaps from the number of gulls which build their nests on the island.
Abd. 1852  A. Robb Poems 45:
The gu's and kittyweakes scream'd, To hear the dire commotion.
Abd. 1882  W. Forsyth Writings 16:
The misty loch an' mirey fen Lay white wi' geese, an' gray wi' goos.

Combs.: 1. goo maw, the great black-backed gull, Larus marinus (Cai. 1887 Harvie-Brown and Buckley Fauna Cai. 233); †2. gue-robber, a name given to Richardson's skua, Stercorarius parasiticus (e.Sc. 1886 Proc. Nat. Hist. Soc. Gsw. 390); cf. Dirten allen; 3. Gow's Castle, the name given to the detached rocky formation, roughly in the shape of an arch, at Covesea, near Lossiemouth. 1. Ags. 1907  Arbroath Guide (2 March) 3:
Will Robin be needin' ony [fish] for's goo-maw?
3. Mry. 1873  J. Brown Round Table Club 327:
Fat's the auld castle o' Duffus compared wi' the Gow's Castle there, afore ye? . . . It's saxty feet hiech gin it be an inch.

[O.Sc. has goule, c.1450, goul mau, 1549, and gow, 1673.]

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"Goo n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2018 <>



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