Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BUSH, n.1 See also Busk, n., and Buss, n.1 Corresponds in form and meaning to St.Eng. bush, but with special extensions not found in St.Eng. [bʌʃ]

1. Low-growing shrubs such as heather, or herbaceous plants growing in a clump, nettles, ferns, etc. (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10, Kcb.9 1937). Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxv.:
The oppressors that hae driven me to tak the heather bush for a bield.

2. “A clump of trees” (Sc. 1902 W. S. Crockett Scott Country 193); a wood. Sc. 1929 Sc. Notes and Queries VII. No. 7 128:
An advertisement in The Times of 20th February 1809, announcing a sale of the fir wood in the Forest of Aboyne, known as “My Lord's Bush,” is interesting.

3. Proverbial use: Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs 17:
Every Man bows to the Bush he gets Bield frae.

4. Comb.: bush sparrow, “the hedge sparrow, Accentor modularis” (Slg. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 28). Also used in U.S.A., but applied there to Spizella pusilla. Cf. bussparrow, s.v. Buss, n.1

[Busche, c.1500–c.1512, is given in D.O.S.T. as Eng. variant of O.Sc. bus, a tuft (see Buss, n.1, 2, and note).]

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"Bush n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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