Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BLUNDERBUSH, n. Sc. form of Eng. blunderbuss, a short heavy flintlock gun with a wide bore at the muzzle. This form was used in Eng. in 17th cent. but examples in N.E.D. indicate that only blunderbuss was used from 1774 onwards. [′blʌndərbʌʃ Sc.; ′blʌnərbʌʃ Kcb.] Sc. 1886  R.L. Stevenson Kidnapped xxix.;
22 :
I have a blunderbush.
Kcb. 1894  S. R. Crockett Raiders xviii.:
Ye micht possibly hae juiked the blunderbush and gotten time to pit in a word to satisfy your kittle honour. attrib.
Bnff. 1716  in W. Cramond Annals Banff (1891) I. 118:
An Dannish aix, Blunderbush gun, a gun and a partisan.

[Adapted from Du. donderbus with same meaning, from donder, thunder + bus, gun (orig. box, tube); perverted in form after blunder (N.E.D.). For change of ss to sh, see P.L.D. § 67.]

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"Blunderbush n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2019 <>



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