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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

GUM, n.2, v.1 Also gumm, gummie.

I. n. 1. A mist, a haze, a thin film of moisture, as on a window (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Cai., ne.Sc., Ags. 1955). Also attrib. and fig. Adj. gummie, covered with condensation (ne.Sc., Ags. 1955).Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 326:
I hate to be always a-thrawin my mou' An cludin' my brow, wi' the gummie o' care.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 71:
Faht sort o' a gum's that o' the top o' the wattir?
Lnl. 1896 Poets Lnl. (Bisset) 96:
Nae clud thanadays cuist a gum ower oor glory.
Abd. 1955 Huntly Express (5 Aug.):
A very dry period in these months causes the plant to take on what farmers call “a gum,” and rotting of the bulbs may follow [of turnips].

2. Medical: jaundice, esp. that affecting new-born infants (ne.Sc., Ags., Ayr. 1955). More fully yella gum, id., which is found in Eng. in late 18th c. [Phs. a different word < obs. Eng. gound, rheum.]

3. Fig. A disagreement, dispute; ill-will, rancour; “subdued dissatisfaction” (Kcb.4 1900).Sc. 1713 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) II. 251:
As to the gumm of the people, they alledged they had noe personall hattred at Mr Black, but only at what they judged his sinfull way.
Sc. 1750 W. MacFarlane Geneal. Coll. (S.H.S.) II. 87:
This horrid cruel Act of burning the young Earl of Athol was imputed to the Bissets, because of a Gum and Hatred bred betwixt them and the Cumins.
Sc. 1827 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) X. 246:
I would rather wish her at Abbotsford than you were giving rise to gums betwixt Jane and her mother.
Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 37:
An auld gum broken oot again.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
To ha'e a ill gum at ane, to bear enmity or ill-will against someone.

II. v. To become covered over with mist or a thin film (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 71; ne.Sc., Ags. 1955).

[O.Sc. has gum, haze, mist, 1513; of obscure origin. Phs. specialised meaning of Eng. gum, a sticky secretion or exudation.]

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"Gum n.2, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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