Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GRUB, v., n.1

I. v. 1. As in Eng.: to uproot, clear ground of weeds, etc. Hence (1) grubber, an iron harrow, usu. with cultivator tines, used esp. for weeding in drills, a scarifier. Gen.Sc. Also in Nhb. dial.; (2) grub-harrow, id. (1) e.Lth. 1814 Farmer's Mag. (May) 198:
The Grubber, an improved Implement of Husbandry, lately introduced into the County of East Lothian, and fast gaining ground there, for expediting the Cleaning and Pulverizing of Fallows, and for other processes in the improved Agriculture of the District.
m.Lth. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 17:
There is an instrument in use here . . . called a grubber, which is drawn by one horse, and is used with effect in clearing out the weeds between the drills of potatoes and turnips.
Sc. 1848 Chambers's Information I. 487:
The common Scotch grubber resembles a strong harrow frame, running upon four wheels and guided like a plough.
Kcd. 1894 J. Kerr Reminisc. III. 15:
The steam engines will then, wi' the grubber again, The field ready for seedin' prepare.
Abd. 1948 Abd. Press & Jnl. (Nov.):
Set of S. T. Harrows, 5-Tined Grubber, Plough, Grubber.
(2) Abd. 1854 Justiciary Reports (1855) 383:
He wanted a grub-harrow for turnip-land.

2. To grasp at (money) in a mean or parsimonious manner (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.; ne.Sc., Ags., Kcb. 1955). Ppl.adj. grubbing, grasping, stingy. Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 344:
I'm but ane humble dusty miller, No unco fond of grubbing siller.
Ib. 93:
He pat the bawbee in his purse, But seldom took it out . . . Was just a grubbing, shyling cuif.

II. n. A stingy person, a money-grubber. Also in Eng. dial. Gsw. 1838 A. Rodger Poems 338:
The groveling grub for gear may scheme.
Rnf. 1862 A. McGilvray Poems 248:
Ye wordly grubs with hearts of steel.

[O.Sc. has grub, to dig round or up, from 1513.]

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"Grub v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Jul 2020 <>



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