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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CRAN, n.3v.3 A Sc. form of Eng. crane, machine for lifting heavy weights (Abd.9, Fif.10, Ags.2, Edb.1 1940).

I. n. 1. In sense of Eng. crane.Gsw. 1736 J. McUre Hist. Gsw. 285: 
The next great building is the Bremmylaw harbour and cran, with the Lodge for His Majesty's Weights, Beams and Triangles.

The following senses are peculiar to Sc., and crane is illustrated where it is found in these senses: 2. “An iron instrument, laid across the fire, reaching from the ribs of the grate to the hinder part of it, for the purpose of supporting a pot or kettle” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); “an iron frame, with two claw supports in front, placed above the fire to support a pot or kettle” (Ags.9 1926, cran).Lnk.11 1942:
A shepherd in an outlying cottage said to me recently: “Come in for a cup o' tea ony time ye pass; the kettle's aye on the crane.”
Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems 293:
I've a pot and a pan, and a earthen cann, A shilling good, and a babee, A brander and cran, I think I'm the man, O' lassie, that weel can suit thee.

3. “An iron tripod for supporting a pot on a hearth fire” (Cai., Gall. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.; w.Sc. 1741 A. M'Donald Galick Vocab. 88; Ayr.4 1928); “a tripod on which a pot is rested on being removed from the fire or, with fire underneath, to keep a pot simmering” (Cai.7 1942).

4. An iron upright having a projecting arm from which to suspend a pot or other cooking utensil over a kitchen fire (Abd. 1920 (per Abd.27); Fif.13, Slg.3 1940; Ayr.4 1928; Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.; Uls.2 1929, crane). Crane is also found in U.S.A. (D.A.E.).Sc. 1931 T. Smellie in Glasgow Herald (3 Nov.) 5:
For cooking purposes every kitchen fireplace had a cran . . . on which the pot was suspended.
Abd. 1731 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S. 1945) 6:
Two crans, two cheeks, three trivets.

5. Phrs: (1) to coup the cran(s), see Coup, v.1; (2) to tumble the crane, to go head over heels, to fall headlong (Ayr. 1975).(2)Lnk. 1833 Whigs of Scot. I. xii.: 
Claverse wull fa' in battle and tumble the crane oot ower the craig.

6. Combs.: (1) cran(e)-brae, “a short incline in steep workings” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 21; Lth. 1910 (per Edb.6), cran-); (2) cran-hooks, “the pair of hooks by which barrels are lifted by their chimes” (Cai. 1905 E.D.D.Suppl.; Cai.7 1940).

II. v. To act like a crane, specif. in building a corn-stack, to stand on the corn-stack and pass the sheaves from the forker on the cart to the stack-builder when he is out of convenient reach (m.Lth. 1948). Vbl.n. crannin, agent n. cranner (Id.). m.Lth. 1948:
Will ye cran the stack for Jimmy?

[O.Sc. has cran, crane, etc., 1375, but only in the Eng. sense of a machine for lifting heavy weights (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Cran n.3, v.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 May 2024 <>



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