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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DEW, Deow(e), Dyow(e), †Deaw, †Due, n. and v. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. dew. [dju: Sc., but ne.Sc. + djʌu (see P.L.D. § 130.1)]

I. n.

1. As in Eng.Bnff. 1920 J. Mitchell Jeannie Lowrie 12:
An' gowans teet abeen the girss an' spread their petals pink, The deow o' heaven . . . tae drink.
Abd. 1924 J. Wight in Swatches 48:
Yer wutchin een, like blobs o' deowe.
Bch. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 29:
When drappin dyowe an' sun an' rain Had wrocht their wanton will.

Hence deowy, dewy.Bnff. 1918 J. Mitchell Bydand 26:
I fell amang the deowy girss an' grat mysel' tae sleep.

2. Rain, gen. a light rain, a drizzle. Also in Chs. dial.Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. x.:
All this, to say nothing of the murky clouds that brooded over the sources of the burns far away up amongst the hills, portended rain. “Ay, we're gyan tae get dyow,” said Macwhirter.
Abd. 1929 Abd. Weekly Jnl. (2 May) 6:
For tho' it wis weet it wisna heavy rain, but jist a rale gentle dyow, an' it sid dee a lot o' gweed.

3. Whisky (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940). A contr. form of earlier mountain dew (see Mountain).n.Sc. 1891 A. Gordon Folks o' Carglen 213:
Dauvit Annan's whisky is guid, vera guid; but, oh man, gie me a drap o' the real dew.
Ayr. 1879 J. White Jottings 223:
When he tak's a drap o' dew To weet the lump.

4. Combs.: (1) dew-blob, a dewdrop; (2) dew-cup, lady's-mantle, Alchemilla pratensis; †(3) dew-flaught, a dewdrop; †(4) dew-melt, sunrise; †(5) dew piece, due-, “a piece of bread, which in former times used to be given to farm-servants, when they went out to their work early in the morning” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); cf. Eng. dial. dew-bit, id.(1) Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 306:
Like a gossamer-filament, a' threaded wi' what Allan Kinnigham [Cunningham] would ca' dew-blobs.
Dmf. 1822 Edb. Mag. (June) 754:
His bonnie blue een like dew-blobs shone, Bright on the heather bell.
(2) Slk. 1807 Trans. Highl. Soc. III. 389:
Mr James Hogg also mentions the uniformly successful treatment of sheep affected with this disorder [trembling ill] . . . by giving them a decoction of the Dewcup and Healing leaf boiled in buttermilk.
Slk. 1818 Hogg Brownie of Bodsbeck. etc. II. 183:
They [fairies] 'll hae to . . . gang away an' sleep in their dew-cups an' foxter-leaves.
(3) Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 324:
The mavis in the wood, and the laverock in the lift. . . . Bonny lasses tripping through the dew-flaughts.
(4) Ib. 1834 IV. 26:
I filled ma creel afore the dew-melt.
(5) Sc. 1685 G. Sinclair Satan's Invisible World (1769) 89:
The Girle was called for, and asked, if she gave him any hard bread, no, says she, but when I was eating my due piece this morning, something came and clicked it out of my hand.

II. v. “To rain gently, as if it were dew falling, to drizzle” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., deaw; Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940). Also in Eng. dial.

[O.Sc. has dew(e), deu, from a.1400, but only in sense 1 of the n.]

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"Dew n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 May 2024 <>



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