Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DRUM, n.3 A long narrow ridge or knoll, “applied to little hills, which rise as backs or ridges above the level of the adjacent ground” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per.4 1950). Often found in names of hills. Dim. drumlin (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.). In pl.: an area of ridged land intersected by marshy hollows (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 187; Kcb.10 1940). Hence drummy lan, id. (Ib.). Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 342:
There are many of these singular ridges of Nature, called here Drums. . . . They have all a parallelism to one another, and decline eastward.
Fif. 1900 Mem. Geol. Survey Scot. 182:
In the lowlands the boulder-clay has frequently been laid down in ridges, or what are called “drums” or “drumlins,” which correspond in general direction with the trend of the striae on the rocks.
Peb. 1815 A. Pennecuik Works 50:
Hills are variously named. . . . Fell, Top, Drum, Tor.
Gsw. 1934 W. Power My Scotland 44:
Glasgow's not very favourable site suggests to an architect a row of handsome buildings along the river, with broad boulevards and squares, opening on the north side into broad avenues leading up to the “drumlins,” or clay hills.
Gall. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 103:
A drum is where the sea or . . . a river has washed away the half of a knowe . . . and then left it, and the weather has gradually softened down the scaur thus formed.
Wgt. 1914 Scottish Review XXXVII. 444:
Drum, as applied to a rounded long ridge of land, is still in common use with farm workers.

[Gael. druim, the ridge of a hill. O.Sc. has drumeheid, the head of a ridge, 1602.]

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"Drum n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Apr 2021 <>



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