Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GOO, n.2 Also gow, gu(e). n.Sc. forms of Eng. gull, any bird of the genus Larus (Mearns 1825 Jam., goo, gu'; Abd. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 207, gow; Mry.1 1925, gow; Bnff. 1936 C. W. Thomson School Humour 160, gow; ne.Sc. 1954, goo, gow). Also dim. gooie, used as a term of endearment to children (Abd. 1948). [gu:; gʌu (in coastal areas)]Kcd. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XI. 327–328:
It is sometimes called the Gow or “Goo”-house, perhaps from the number of gulls which build their nests on the island.
Abd. 1852 A. Robb Poems 45:
The gu's and kittyweakes scream'd, To hear the dire commotion.
Abd. 1882 W. Forsyth Writings 16:
The misty loch an' mirey fen Lay white wi' geese, an' gray wi' goos.

Combs.: 1. goo maw, the great black-backed gull, Larus marinus (Cai. 1887 Harvie-Brown and Buckley Fauna Cai. 233); †2. gue-robber, a name given to Richardson's skua, Stercorarius parasiticus (e.Sc. 1886 Proc. Nat. Hist. Soc. Gsw. 390); cf. Dirten allen; 3. Gow's Castle, the name given to the detached rocky formation, roughly in the shape of an arch, at Covesea, near Lossiemouth.1. Ags. 1907 Arbroath Guide (2 March) 3:
Will Robin be needin' ony [fish] for's goo-maw?
3. Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 327:
Fat's the auld castle o' Duffus compared wi' the Gow's Castle there, afore ye? . . . It's saxty feet hiech gin it be an inch.

[O.Sc. has goule, c.1450, goul mau, 1549, and gow, 1673.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Goo n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: