Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
BOW, Boll, Bowe, n.2 [bu:, bʌu Sc.; Ork. bu: only]
1. “A herd of cattle “ (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 187). Cf. Boo, n.1
Sc. 1802–1803 Scott Minst. Sc. B., Intro. I. p. lxxxviii.:
[Walter Scott of Harden] mounted his horse . . . and returned next day with “a bow of kye, and a bassen'd (brindled) bull.” Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Bow, bowe. The herd in general; whether inclosed in a fold or not.
Comb.: bow-house, cattle-shed, cow-house.
Ags. 1926 D. Grewar Story of Glenisla vi.:
The Abbey, however, reserved to itself the teinds of the “bow-houses,” Horses, cows and sheep.
2. “A fold for cows “ (Sc. 1808 Jam.).
3. “A large undivided farm, a farm not broken up among portioners but retaining its integrity, and not worked in runrig” (Ork. 1929 Marw.).[Under bow, n.2, D.O.S.T. gives bou (boll), bw, buow, also bowhous (e), etc., with meanings similar to 1 and 4 above. The word comes from O.N. bū, a homestead; stock of a farm; O.E. bū, dwelling. The spelling boll is due to a false analogy with such words as pou, pull, fou, full. More common as a place-name (Marw.).]
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"Bow n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/bow_n2>
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