Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DOO, DOW, n. Sc. forms of Eng. dove (see P.L.D. §§ 70.1, 101). Also du (Jak.), †dew. [du: Sc., s.Sc. + dʌu]

1. Applied, as in Eng. dial., to any species of pigeon, but more esp. to the rock pigeon, Columba livia. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 141:
Loud coos the doo when the hawk's no whistling.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 96:
. . . still the glass she eyes, As self-delighted as a dew, An' makin' mou's the while.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 31:
She primmed up her mou' and said saft as a doo, “Hech, sirs, what a burden is man!”
Fif. 1894 (2nd ed.) D. S. Meldrum Story of Margrédel vii.:
Already her brother was leading the way to the stable. “Come and see my doos,” he cried.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 112:
The wild dows i' ilka green wood As sweetly are cooing their love.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Battle of Sherramuir (Cent. ed.) iii.:
They fled like frighted dows, man!
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 5:
Auld farnyear stories come athwart their minds, Of bum-bee bykes, pet pyats, doos and keaws.
Rxb. 1923 Kelso Chron. (6 April) 4/1:
No one in the countryside knew more about “doos” than himself.
Slk. 1807 Hogg Mountain Bard 3:
The dow flew east, the dow flew west, The dow flew far ayont the fell.

2. A dear one, a darling; applied as a term of affection to a sweetheart or child. Gen.Sc. Also used of a child's doll (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 39). Sc. 1707 Queen Anne in Jacobite Minstrelsy (1829) 38:
You're right, Queen Anne, Queen Anne, You're right, Queen Anne, my dow.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vi.:
Ye may marry ony leddy in the countryside ye like, . . . is not that worth waiting for, my dow?
Ork. 1908 J. T. S. Leask in Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 321:
Thu're the ae lass i' the wirld wha I like, thu're me peerie doo.
Abd. 1863 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod i. i.:
Her father always called her “Maggy, my doo.”
Ags. 1916 V. Jacob Songs of Angus 33:
An' O! my broken he'rt was sair, I cried, “My ain! my doo!”
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 36:
He's mammie's pet, an' daddie's doo, An' a' the toun adore 'im.
Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 32:
But ne'er a ane o' them had gane Sae sune's her ain wee doo.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 53:
Hey laddie my dow, how's your mither honest Mary?
Kcb. 1890 A. J. Armstrong Musings 36:
An' smooth the shinin' gowden pow O' daddie's bonnie doo.
Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 123:
O' cheese and bread John served now, Began to hirsle near his dow.

3. Phrs. and Combs.: (1) causey doo (see quot.); cf. causey-saint, id., s.v. Causey, n.; (2) cushie-doo, see Cushat; (3) doo-docken, dove-dock, the coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara (Cai. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.; Cai.9 1949); also applied to the burdock, Arctium lappa (Cai. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.); (4) doo-flichter, -lander, -lichter, a tweed cap with a large peak (Fif.17 1950, -lichter; Gsw. 1925 (per Abd.27)); (5) doo's cle(c)kin, -sitting, a family of two, gen. a boy and girl (see second quot.); known to Bnff.2, Abd. and Ags. correspondents, Slg.3, Kcb. correspondents 1940; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., 1948 (per Abd.27); (6) doo-wan, a willow-catkin; (7) not to care a doo's e'e, not to care a jot (Kcb.9, Kcb.10 1940); (8) a shot among the dows, a shot at random (Abd.9 1940; e.Lth. 1825 Jam.2); (9) to flee the (blue) doo, to send out a messenger surreptiously to a public house for whisky (Bnff.12 1935; Abd.4 1929); cf. the story of the dove in the Ark, Blue, n., 3, and to rin the cutter s.v. Cutter, n.2; †(10) to shoot among the dows, to exaggerate, “draw the long bow” (Ags. 1825 Jam.2). (1) em.Sc. 1947 A. Fleming Common Day i. iv.:
Why Joanna Melville should be labelled a “causey doo,” — amiable as a dove in the street and the reverse at home — was not divulged, but the epithet stuck.
(3) Cai. 1812 J. Henderson Agric. Cai. 84:
The arable land was much infested with various weeds, as the thistle, the mugwort, dove-dock.
(5) Ags. 1885 Brechin Advertiser (3 March) 3/3:
His family consisted o' a doo's clekin — a laddie an' a lassie.
Fif. 1895 G. Bruce Land Birds 538:
When domesticated they [rock doves] have four broods in the year, always two at a time — male and female. Hence a boy and girl [i.e. twins] are called “a doo's cleckin'.”
Cai.9 1939:
Wir family is jist the doo's sittan.
(6) Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 56:
Where heath and snow-white doowans nod.
(7) Edb. 1926 A. Muir Blue Bonnet 222:
There you were unhappy all the time, and didn't “care a doo's e'e” anyhow.
wm.Sc. 1903 “S. Macplowter” Mrs McCraw 126:
It's you A'm wantin', an' no tae keep the place. A dinna care a doo's e'e fur't.
(9) Bnff.2 1935:
He vrocht in oor squad o' ma sons an wiz aye the een t' flee the blue doo.

[O.Sc. has dow, dou, etc., in senses 1 and 2, from a.1400.]

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"Doo n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jun 2021 <>



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