Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GRULSH, n. Also gru(i)lch. A fat, squat person or animal (Lnk., Gall. 1825 Jam., Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff., gruilch; Uls. 1924 North. Whig (23 Jan.), Uls. 1955); “a fat child” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 243), a short, corpulent old man (Kcb.4 1900). Also augmentative gruilchin (Gregor). Hence grulshie, -y, grulchie, adj., sturdy, fat and clumsy-looking. [grʌlʃ] Ayr. 1821 Galt Ann. Parish ii.:
They kept themselves aloof from the other callans in the clachan, and had a genteeler turn than the grulshy bairns of the cotters.
Gsw. 1862 J. Gardner Jottiana 35:
Our laird was ca'd auld Grossetha', A wee, stout, grulchie man.
Arg. 1882 Argsh. Herald (3 June):
He was a . . . uishless craytor amang the lave o' the grulshie graisk in the toon.

[Phs. a variant of Grilse, 2. Cf. Gulch from Gilse, and for development of meaning, Grawl, n., 2. and Smout from Smolt.]

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"Grulsh n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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