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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

(Scharn,) Sharn, S(c)hairn(e, n. Also: charne. [ME (once) and e.m.E. sheren (1398), shearne (1601), shorn (1688), also in various compounds, OE scearn, of the same ultimate origin as Scare v. and Scher(e v.] Excrement; cow-dung. Also in fig. context. — a1605 Montg. Flyt. 406 (H).
They fand the shitte all beshittin in his owin shairne [T. charne]
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. fol. 25a.
Barschargie is my castellum … Couerit with … swite, schairne & reik
1644 Shetland Witch Trial in Hibbert Shetland Islands 595.
Ane cow … milked nothing but water, quhilk stinked and tasted of sharn a long tyme
1692 Presb. Eloq. (1693) 104.
Except ȝou ȝet your hearts mucked with the sharn of grace, you'l never thrive
1714 Stirling B. Rec. II 136.
That no flesher, nor other nighbours in the Backrow toom their draughts or shairn in any part of the Backrow

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"Scharn n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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