Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GOWDSPINK, n. Also goud-, gold-, -spring. [′gʌudspink]

1. The goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis (Lnk. 1825 Jam., goldspink, gowdspring; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., goldspring; Bwk. 1889 G. Muirhead Birds Bwk. I. 148; Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 166; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Per., Peb. 1955). Also in n.Eng. dial. Cf. goold(s)pink, goold spring s.v. Goold. Also contr. dim. form gowdie (Jam.2 s.v. goldie; Edb. 1861 J. McLevy Sliding Scale 136); cf. Goldie and Gooldie, n., 1. Sc. 1724  Ramsay T. T. Misc. 20:
Nansy's to the green Wood gane, To hear the gowdspink chat'ring.
Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) i:
'Twas e'ening whan the spreckled gowdspink sang.
Ayr. 1787  Burns Bruar Water vi.:
The sober laverock, warbling wild, . . . The gowdspink, Music's gayest child.
Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 22:
Now o'er the fields, the yellow goldspinks show Their blushing glory to the warm breeze.
Rxb. a.1860  J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 237:
Some birds . . . which from a flirt of a wing I suspected . . . to be either goldspinks or whin-linties.
Lnl. 1864  J. C. Shairp Kilmahoe 28:
A flight of goldspinks light, Some wintry day on a thistly field.
Abd. 1868  W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 241:
How heartsome the gowspinks chirmed, “Sweet, laddie, sweet,” I' the hawthorn buss laden wi' flowers!
Ags. 1897  Bards Ags. & Mearns (Reid) 213:
The gowdies and the linties sing Among the yellow broom.
Ayr. 1913  J. Service Memorables iii.:
How aften have I raikit its lanely shaws and glens, hearkening to the gowdspink and the cushie-doo.

2. The yellow primrose. Rare. Per. 1896  D. MacTavish Witch of Monzie 35:
Wee gowdspinks — gem of woodland flowers — Peep through their golden petals.
Ags. 1899  C. Sievwright Garland 35:
The gowdspinks, an' the blue tulips, the appilrengie and the thyme decorated the sides o' the door.

[Gowd + Spink, goldfinch, primrose.]

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"Gowdspink n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Mar 2018 <>



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