Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PUSHION, n., adj., v. Also pooshion (Abd. 1957 Bon-Accord (25 April)), -in (Ags. 1892 Arbroath Guide (27 Feb.)), -en (Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 263), -an (Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 26), -un; poosion (Ayr. 1786 Burns Holy Fair xvi.), pushen, -in (Sh. 1906 T. P. Ollason Spindrift 107), -on; pueshin (Sh. 1900 Shetland News (17 Nov.)), pous(h)in (Knr. 1925 H. Haliburton Horace 76); pusn (Sc. c.1800 Queen Eleanour in Child Ballads No. 156. B. x.), puson (Sc. 1806 Scots Mag. (March) 205), -en, -ion (Abd. 1857 G. MacDonald Songs (1893) 3), pusjon, -jin; puzen (Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 95), -ion, puzhen (Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize II. xix.), -un (Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie xii.), puzhon (Ags. 1920 A. Gray Songs from Heine 23), puzhion (Per. 1895 I. MacLaren Auld Lang Syne 28), puzyon (Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption xxii.), puzzhion (Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 44); pussen (Rxb. 1954 Hawick News (18 June) 7), puzzen (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); puizhun (Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 55), puishon (Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Clay Biggin 8), -un (Fif. 1894 J. Menzies Our Town 127); posion (Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 130); pashyen (Bnff. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (19 June) 8), paazyen (Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 16); poishon (Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1863) I. 139); pisen (Sc. 1926 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 98), pisin (s.Sc. 1894 J. Cunningham Broomieburn 113); pizion (Sc. 1875 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 158), pishion. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. poison. [m.Sc. ′pʌʒən, Fif. ′pe-, Lth. + ′pɪ-, ne.Sc., em.Sc.(a), Ayr. ′pu-; Lth., sm. and s.Sc. ′pʌʒ-; + anglicised forms ′pɑeʒ-. See Fushion.]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Deriv. pushionish (Sc. 1830 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1864) III. 138), pooshinous (Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 91), pooshenous (Abd. 1950 Scots Mag. (July) 273), poisonous.

Combs. and phr.: (1) pyock o' pushion, n., a very bad-tempered and testy person, a curmudgeon (Crm. 1921 T.S.D.C. 26). See also Pock, n.; (2) pushion-berry, the nightshade or bitter sweet, Solanum dulcamara (Bwk. 1853 G. Johnston Botany E. Borders 150; Rxb. 1915 Jedburgh Gazette (17 Sept.) 3; Lnk. 1967); (3) pushion-ramper, the hag fish, Myxine glutinosa (Mry. 1852 Zoologist X. 3488). See Ramper.

2. An unpleasant person or thing, a “horror” (Sh., n.Sc. 1967). Hence pooshinous, pusjonous, unpleasant, detestable, horrible (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh., n.Sc. 1967). ne.Sc. 1893  W. Gregor Dunbar's Wks. (S.T.S.) III. 40:
“He's a pusion o' a craitur,” and “He's a perfit pusion.”
Sh. 1898  Shetland News (30 July):
A fantit ting o' a grice aboot a hoos is shürely wan o' da greatest pushens 'at can be seen.
Sh. 1914  Angus Gl.:
Sees du whatna pusjon av a bonnet wir Meggi is gotten on.
Cai. 1934  John o' Groat Jnl. (19 Jan.):
Ye could fa aff o' Princie an' no mak' sic a pooshinous foosum mess o' yir jaikad as ye wid in 'is guttery w'ather.
Abd. 1934  D. Scott Stories and Sk. 27:
He's jist a rale pooshin wi't.
Sh. 1952  J. Hunter Taen wi da Trow 97:
A baand a ellit oorlie pooshins, Shargin, njirlin, lipper tings.

II. adj., from n. used attrib.: of persons or things: unpleasant, detestable, cursed, foul (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 177, pooshin, 1908 Jak. (1928), pusjin; Cai.3 1931; I.Sc., Fif. 1967). Also used adv. in combs. pushion-faced, having an ugly or badtempered face, pusjin-shaped, deformed, misshapen (Jak.). Sh. 1866  Edm. Gl.:
A poushin crater, a sneaking, contemptible fellow.
Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 43:
Here's the strae that yin puishan ill-skinned tyke o a man ca'd a shaef o corn.
Sc. 1883  Stevenson Letters to Baxter (1956) 126:
Up comes yon red-heedit, pishion-faced creeter.
Sh. 1899  J. Spence Folk-Lore 240:
He's a pooshin wadder-head, a dirty söal i' da sea.
Cai. 1916  John o' Groat Jnl. (14 Jan.):
“A pushion, fusom, moniment” expressed the lowest stratum of worthlessness.

III. v. 1. As in Eng., but in Sc. often used in a weaker sense: to render unpleasant, spoil, cause discomfort to; of food: to make unpalatable or nauseating. Gen.Sc. Deriv. pus(h)ionable, adj., poisonous, unpleasant (Per., Dmb. 1967). Ppl.adjs. poushin't, puzzen't, poisoned; by extension, of persons: unpleasant in character, spiteful, malicious; of things: having an unhealthy or unwholesome appearance, dingy, discoloured, freq. of badly washed linen or the like (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., puzzen't, Rxb. 1967), unpleasant, unpalatable, nasty; pushioning, unpleasant, horrid, nasty. Sc. 1806  Scots Mag. (March) 205:
What's a' the med'cines that are ta'en, An' Doctors' puson'd stuff.
Mry. 1828  J. Ruddiman Tales 63:
What can we expect from brocks but a poosioning flavour.
Ags. 1833  J. S. Sands Poems 95:
Ye've pushioned a' the kail wi' sute.
Sc. 1840  G. Webster Ingliston xxviii.:
Sic a meltooth as micht . . . gie ony body the gulsheuch, as ye micht weel ken frae the pushionable smell that it sets up.
Bwk. 1853  G. Johnston Botany E. Borders 211:
The peat-diggers appease their thirst by chewing the sapid culms of this grass, for the water of the peat-bog they reckon “pushonable.”
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xvii.:
Johnny in his heat, even defined Dawvid Hadden as a “pushion't ted.”
Knr. 1891  H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 56:
That weaves a windin'-sheet for mirth, That pusions bread wi' leaven.
Dmf. 1891  Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 81:
Toads, again, are considered “pushionable beasts.”
Sh. 1906  T. P. Ollason Spindrift 107:
Hit's a mercy, an' a fairly ta preeve a crumb o' tae bread noo-a-days, 'ats no pushined wi' suggar.

2. To plague, annoy, harass (Bnff. 1967). Ayr. 1823  Galt R. Gilhaize xlii.:
“O Lord,” cried the curate, “we're puzhened wi' speeders!”

[O.Sc. pusoune, n., 1375, poisonable, poisonous, c.1470, Mid.Eng. puison, O.Fr. puison.]

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"Pushion n., adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jun 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/pushion>

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