Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
ELSHIN, n. A shoemaker's awl (Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr., Gl. 691; Ayr.3 1912; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ork.5, Rxb.4 1950). Also †elson, †elsyn (Sc. 1808 Jam.); †elchin (Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Helicon 65); elshon (Ags. 1929 Montrose Standard (19 April)); †elshun, s.Sc.; elsin, s.Sc., Uls.; elison, elli(e)son, ellisin, ne.Sc.; †a'lson (Ags. 1776 C. Keith Farmer's Ha' 4); †alshin (Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 45; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein); alishin, †alison, †allisjon, †al(l)ishen, ellis(h)en, ellishin, †elishant, Sh. [′ɛl(ɪ)ʃɪn, ′ɛl(ɪ)sɪn Sc., but em.Sc.(b), Rxb. + ′ælʃən and Sh. + ′ælɪʃən, ′ælɪsən, ′ælɪsjən]
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 344:
Nor Hynds wi' Elson and hemp Lingle, Sit solling Shoon out o'er the Ingle. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvii.:
But he's as gleg as MacKeachan's elshin, that ran through six plies of bend-leather. Ayr. 1823 Galt Gathering of the West i.:
I see more gentility in a pestle and mortar than a tar barrel, and little difference between an ellwand and an elsin. s.Sc. 1835–40 J. M. Wilson (ed.) Tales of the Borders I. 42:
Dinna ye disgrace your faither by makin' bickers like the Coopers o' Nicolwood, or pinglin' wi' an elshin like the souters o' Selkirk. Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 22:
Andra noticed 'at the' wur t'ree elsins sticked i' the sae-tree. Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 104:
For peerie slip an bit o shaal Aa-thing frae füd doon ta da aal, Da ellishin. Kcb. 1895 S. R. Crockett Moss-Hags xxiii.:
The elshin that had stottit on to the floor. Abd. 1909 C. Murray Hamewith 21:
The cauper left his turnin' lay, the sooter wasna slaw To fling his lapstane in the neuk, the elshin, birse an' a'.
Phrs. and Combs.: 1. elshin box, a box for holding awls (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk.2 1950); 2. elshin-heft, (1) the handle of an awl; for sense of Dmf. quot., see quot. under 3; †(2) “the old designation for a jargonelle pear, from its resemblance to the haft of an awl” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2, elson-); 3. elshin shaft = 2. (1); 4. Deil's elshin, the Shepherd's Needle, see Deil, n., VII. A. 8; 5. to look ellishins at, to look “daggers” at.
1. Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 83:
Ane ca's a thing like elsin box, That drools like corn pipes Fu' queer that day. 2. (1) Dmf. 1823 J. Kennedy Poems 66:
And Willie thought him brawly sped, Nae room to doubt his courage left, His Jenny like an elson-heft. s.Sc. 1835–40 J. M. Wilson (ed.) Tales of the Borders I. 67:
In his opinion, there was mair to be made by making elshin-hefts than by writing ballants. 3. Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 16:
Made Janet . . . grow like an Elshin shaft, and got his Maggy wi' bairn forby. 5. Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sk. and Poems 79:
He sat an' coffed an' lookit ellishins at Arty.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Elshin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Nov 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/elshin>
Try an Advanced Search