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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GRABBLE, v., n. Also †grable.

I. v. To grab, grope (Sh.10 rare, Ags., Per., m.Lth., Uls. 1955). Also in Eng. dial.m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 257:
Ae wee deevil o' a bairn, whan I was nippin' its taes, and grabblin't tae find if the spark o' life was flown.
Ags. 1930 A. Kennedy Orra Boughs xxv.:
In his prime these restless grabbling hands had been strong and firm.

Hence grabbler, an avaricious person, a miser (m.Lth.1 1955).

II. n. 1. A grab, a grasping (Ags., Per., m.Lth. 1955). Phr. to let a grabble for, to grab, snatch at.Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock xviii.:
There's naething but a grable, grable amo' fouk.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) iv.:
I lat a grabble for the poker. But in my hurry, ower gaed the fryin' pan.

2. In pl.: “a disease of cows, in which all their limbs become crazy, so that they are unable to walk” (Ags. 1808 Jam.).

[Freq. of grab; for II. 2., cf. Eng. grabble, to sprawl or tumble about on all-fours.]

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"Grabble v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Jun 2023 <>



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