Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HUSH, n.1, v.1

I. n. 1. A rushing, gushing sound as of swiftly moving water, a plash (I.Sc. 1957). Derivs. ¶husheen, hushie, id. Phr. to tak the hushie, = v., 1. Abd. c.1860  Gateway (1918) No. 69. 11:
I dinna think weel o' this wye o' biggin' [smithy walls] an' it sae far ower in the sizzon. Gin that clouds brak oot in a spate o' rain, I widna won'er tho' wir clay tak the hushie.
Abd. 1868  G. Macdonald R. Falconer I. xviii.:
In his ears was the hush rather than rush of the water over the dam.
Sc. 1910  D. G. Mitchell Sermons 23:
The hush o' the burn rose to the clachan as it bickered by.
Sc. 1930  T. R. Barnett Autumns in Skye 22:
The never-ending husheen of the Mad Stream.
Sh. 1949  J. Gray Lowrie 75:
I tink dir twa muckle eens [trout] yunder, I heard da hush o' dem.

2. A low murmuring sound, e.g. of a low wind, or the distant swell of the sea (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; I.Sc. 1957); a swell in the sea (Sh. 1881 Williamson MSS.; I.Sc. 1957). Sh. 1892  G. Stewart Fireside Tales 242:
We wir andowin' ahead fir saith, wi' a hush o' sea on.
Sh. 1914  Angus Gl.:
He's gjaan tae be wind, de'r a hush idda sea.

3. A whisper, a slight sound, a rumour (Abd. 1957). Phr. and comb.: (1) neither hush nor mush, — wush, not a sound (Ags. 1957); (2) hus(c)h-mus(c)h, (a) n., clandestine whispering (Ags. 1957); (b) v., to whisper continuously (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 86); (c) adv., “in a state of bustling disorder” (Lth. 1825 Jam.). This meaning is phs. due to confusion with hushel-mushel s.v. Hushle, n., 5. Gsw. 1842  Justiciary Reports (1844) 505:
Except “a hush about the doors”, he had heard nothing against the character of the witness.
(1) Ags. 1853  W. Blair Aberbrothock iii.:
There was neither hush nor wush wi' the puir bodies.
(2) (a) Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 86:
Thir's a sair hush-musch aboot fa's deen sic an ill deed.

4. Fig. An onrush of people (Slk. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh. 1957). Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 39:
In came the neighbours in a hush, dinging ither down in the door.

5. A large quantity, abundance (of something) (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Sh.12 1894; Abd. 1902 E.D.D.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh. 1957); hence, matter in gen., stuff. Rxb. 1808  A. Scott Poems 57:
The only thing wi' you there's luck o', Is hush o' strae for making muck o'.
Sh. 1949  J. Gray Lowrie 78:
Ta tak a hanndfoo o' hush oot o' dis stank . . . an pit hit in a bottle.
Sh. 1955  New Shetlander No. 41. 15:
Sheep, eggs, grices, an' a hush o' idder things fae da laand an' fae da sea.

6. A fat, ungainly, dirty person (Abd.4 1920; Abd., Kcd. 1957).

II. v. 1. intr. To rush forth, gush out, of water (Slk. 1825 Jam.; Sh., Uls. 1957); tr. to cause to rush or gush forth, to force forward (Lth. 1825 Jam.). Also in n.Eng. dial. Dmf. 1804  Acts 44 Geo. III. c.45 § 12:
If any Person or Persons shall beat the Water, or hush, or lay any hot Lime or Filth . . . in or into the said Arm of the Sea, or any such River.
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xv.:
We heard the water, far down below, roaring and hushing over the rocks.

2. tr. To fling together or bundle hurriedly or carelessly (Sh., m.Lth. 1957). Sc. 1822  Carlyle Early Letters (Norton) II. 84:
I hushed a great many things into the Box.

3. To whisper (Abd. 1957). Cf. n., 3.

[Imit. of the sound made by a rush of water or other things.]

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"Hush n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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