Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GASH, adj.1 Ashen, of pale or ghastly appearance, grim, dismal. Now only liter. Also adv. Edb. a.1774  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 86:
The day looks gash, toot aff your horn, Nor care yae strae about the morn.
Sc. 1818  Scott Rob Roy xxv.:
Nay, never look gash or grim at me, man — if ye're angry, ye ken how to turn the buckle o' your belt behind you.
Ayr. 1826  Galt Last of the Lairds iii.:
“Plunkcorkie,” said he, “I'm thinking Auldbiggings is looking unco gash.” “Gash!” quo Plunkcorkie, “nae wonder, he's been dead this half hour.”
Sc. 1830  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 347:
“But what's the matter wi' Mr North? Saw ye ever the cretur lookin sae gash? I wish he mayna be in a fit o' apoplexy”. . . . “His countenance is, indeed, ominously sable.”
Arg. 1914  N. Munro New Road xx.:
You're looking gash! A body would think to look at you the North was up.
Abd. 1924  Swatches o' Hamespun 66:
“Foo leuk ye sae gash?” “Weel, Aw am some squeemish.”
m.Sc. 1934  J. Buchan Free Fishers x.:
He had gotten a clour on the heid, and lookit a wee thing gash.
Dmf. 1938  Chambers's Jnl. (Nov.) 840:
Whaur the rocks toss high to the gurly sky Ower an auld too'er gash an' grey.

[Found in Eng. in 16th cent. Of uncertain origin, but see note to Gash, adj.3]

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"Gash adj.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2019 <>



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