Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

RIZZAR, n. Also rizar, riz(z)er, riz(z)or; rizzier; rizzard, riz(z)art; risser, risier (Sc. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (July) 400); rissert, risart, rysart; also with variant ending rizzle, rissle (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.); russle, russel. [′rɪzər, sm.Sc. rɪsl, rʌsl]

1. The red currant, Ribes rubrum, or its bush (Sc. 1704 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 347, rissert, 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 410. rizzle, russle; Abd. 1897 Trans. Bch. Field Club 79; Kcb. 1930, russel; Bwk. 1924 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai.; ‡ne., em.Sc.(a), e.Lth., Bwk., Ayr. 1968). Also attrib. with -berry, -bush (Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Vocab. 63), etc. Sc. 1701  J. Brand Descr. Zetland (1883) 120:
There are also at Scalloway some Goose and Rizzerberrie bushes which use every Year to be laden with fruit which are a great rarity in this place of the World.
Gsw. 1711  Uls. Jnl. Archaeol. IV. 115:
Rizze[r] or Strawberrie Cream.
Sc. 1814  J. Sinclair Agric. Scot. II. 117:
The principal native fruits of Scotland are the following; Plums, chiefly Prunus insititia; risser or red currant.
Edb. 1821  Blackwood's Mag. (July) 400:
The Risiers, Groserts, and Reeforts [street-cries] of that period have changed their names for . . . currants, gooseberries and radishes.
Ags. 1823  A. Balfour Foundling of Glenthorn II. iii.:
Rysarts as red as blood.
Fif. 1853  R. Peattie MS.:
Four chappins o' red grosers for jam an' a chappin o' rizzars to mak jice for them.
Bnff. 1893  G. G. Green Kidnappers i.:
Red currant bushes, which last were usually called “rizzers” by the boys.
Gall. 1901  R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 385:
He crawl't in amang some gey rank grozet an russel busses in the yaird.
Ags. 1955  Forfar Dispatch (11 Aug.):
I maun rin and get rizzers for jeely.

Combs.: black rizer, the fruit of the black currant, Ribes nigrum; re(e)d rizzar, the red currant (Watson); white rizer, the fruit of the white currant, a garden variety of the red currant (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif. 1968). Sc. 1736  Mrs. McLintock Receipts 30, 32:
To make Geil of white Rizers. To make the Geil of black Rizers. . . . To every Mutchkin of the Juice of Rasps, take half a Mutchkin of the Juice of red Rizers to make it geil.
Fif. 1845  T. C. Latto Minister's Kail-yard 50:
Wae for thae rizars, white an' red.

[O.Sc. russer berrie, 1587, rizor, 1645, russle, a. 1628, risert, 1681, id. Orig. uncertain. The first syllable may represent rid, Reid, acc. to N.E.D., the second being assimilated to one or other of the variants Grosel, Groser, grosart, Groset, q.v. Cf. Fr. groseille rouge, red currant. But the earliest Sc. form suggests rather an alteration of russet, the colour, influenced by Groser.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Rizzar n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down