Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
STRAW, n. Also †strau (Sc. 1700 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 76),†streauw (Slk. 1825 Jam.). Sc. usages. For other Sc. forms see Strae, Strow.
1. In phrs.: (1) to bind or tie wi a straw, with aux. v. can, may, in expressions to indicate persons helpless with laughter (see quots.) (Kcb. 1971); (2) to gaither straws, of the eyes: to be closing with sleep. Cf. Eng. to draw straws, id.
(1) Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 195:
You might have bound the whole company with a straw. Ayr. 1896 H. Johnston Dr Congalton xvi.:
You could have tied the minister wi' a straw, as the sayin' is. (2) Sc. 1825 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 29:
My eyes are gathering straws. Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xxiv.:
As I had been up since five in the morning, my een were gathering straws.
2. In Combs. (see also Strae): (1) straw-back, a chair with a hooded back made of plaited straw (Ork. 1971). Also attrib.; (2) straw-beuts, rough puttees or leggings made of straw rope wound round the legs (Ork. 1971); (3) straw-card, in lace-weaving: a template used in cutting the pattern on to the jacquard loom (Ayr. 1971); (4) straw-crook, a revolving hook used in twisting ropes of straw, etc. (Abd. 1921; Rs., Nai. 1961 Gwerin III. 213; Cai., Per., Lth. 1971), the form being phs. altered from thraw-cruik, id.; (5) straw-death, a natural as opposed to a violent death. Rare or dial. in Eng.; (6) straw-mouse, the shrew, Sorex araneus (Mry. 1844 Zoologist II. 423; Fif., Kcb. 1971); (7) straw sonk, a pad of straw used as a saddle, esp. for ladies. See Sunk; (8) straw-tap, jocularly, a straw hat, and by extension, its wearer; (9) straw-wald, strawal, dyer's rocket or yellow-weed, Reseda luteola (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 62, strawal). See Wald; (10) straw-wisp, a weak-willed impressionable or easily-swayed person; (11) wandering straw, an unsettled person who moves from job to job (Wgt. 1971).
(1) Ork. 1912 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 19:
Old strawback stool. — The hooded straw-back was the symbol of authority and was reserved for the guid man. (2) Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminiscences 32:
The straw beuts, or leggings, were composed of a length of sookan wound several times round the ankle and upwards to the knee. (5) Fif. 1895 G. Setoun Sunshine and Haar ii.:
A straw-death's kindlier. Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lochinvar xlviii.:
To die a clean-straw death instead of dancing your last on a gallows. Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 86:
Vikings who fell in fight, or who, thinking themselves unlucky in this, died a “straw death.” (6) Mry. c.1890 Gregor MSS.:
If a straw-mouse goes over a child's foot, the child's growth is stopped. (7) Dmf. 1830 W. Bennet Traits II. 140:
Their steeds are caparisoned in straw sonks and hair halters. (8) Fif. 1879 G. Gourlay Fisher Life 100:
The steam towing service of Leith was hired to the last boat, till a dozen or so have churned away from Anstruther pier with “straw taps” for the Edinburgh railway station. (9) Abd. 1796 Session Papers, Leslie v. Fraser (29 March 1805) 248:
They preserve some of the stuffs used at their work, such as straw-wald, for manure. (10) Sc. 1761 Magopico 18:
A plain, undesigning nose o' wax, a cat's paw, a straw-wisp.
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"Straw n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/straw_n>
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