Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BUSS, Bus', n.1 Cf. Busk, n. [bʌs]

1. A bush. Gen.Sc. m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 50:
The berry busses hing wi' weet.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 156:
A man with large optics and a profusion of beard, is said to be “like a hoolet lookin' oot o' a whun bus'.”

Comb.: bussparrow, the hedge sparrow. Accentor modularis. Cf. bush sparrow, s.v. Bush, n.1 Ayr. 1890 J. Service Thir Notandums 52:
The bussparrow and the robin chase ilk ither.

†In phr. to gang o'er the buss-taps, “to behave in an extravagant manner” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2). Given by Watson in Rxb. W.-B. (1923) as obs.

2. “A clump or tussock of grass, rushes, etc.” (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 67). Also known to Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.9, Kcb.9 1937. Cf. Boss, n.4, 1. Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 110:
Frae fertile Fields, where nae curs'd Ethers [adders] creep, To stang the Herds that in Rash-busses sleep.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
A buss o' threshes; A nettle buss.

[O.Sc. bus, buss(e), bush, tuft, variant of busk, n., with loss of k (D.O.S.T.). For similar loss of k, cf. Ass, Aise, ash, from O.N. aska or O.E. pl. ascan, and Buss, to adorn, variant of Busk.]

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"Buss n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2021 <>



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