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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).

GUN, n., v. Sc. usages:

I. n. 1. A tobacco pipe, a briar-pipe (Ags., Fif., Ayr., Gall. 1955). Also in Eng. slang, obsol. For cutty-gun, see Cutty, 4.Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 39:
Flang't in the hole behint the lum, Rakes down the coals, an' lights her gun.
Kcb. 1838 R. Kerr Maggie o' the Moss (1891) 193:
But we each filled our “gun” with the best Glasgow spun, Just to smoke our disturber away.
Lnk. 1878 W. Penman Echoes 50:
My cares are a' bye, an' my pleasures begun, For I claw oot my coggie, an' licht my auld gun.

2. In Curling: a cannon shot.Per. 1897 D. MacTavish Witch of Monzie 42:
Wi' draws, an' guards, an' wicks, an' guns, The game noo gets uproarious.

3. Phrs. & Combs.: †(1) gun and sword, a schoolboy's slang term for seed-cake and shortbread (Edb. 1898 J. Baillie Walter Crighton, Gl.); (2) gun end, the parlour or best room in a cottage (‡Abd.27 1954), appar. so called from the fact that in former times only this room had a chimney with a pot on it; †(3) gun sleev'd, adj., having sleeves shaped like a gun, leg-of-mutton sleeved; †(4) gunstane, a flint for a gun or pistol (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (5) to be great guns (wi), to be close friends (with) (Abd. 1900; Sh., Abd., Ags. 1955); ¶(6) to take the gun, to become a soldier.(2) Abd.24 1916:
Meggie has reek in 'er gun eyn the nicht, i.e. she is holding a party.
Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS. iii.:
There had been a spence, as the middle room atween the kitchie and the gun end wis ca'd.
(3) Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 53:
No less than a gun sleev'd linen sark on him, which made his cheeks to shine like a sherney weight.
(4) Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 136:
Their feelin's grow as hard as whinstane, An' faces fiery like a gunstane.
(5) ne.Sc. 1954 Mearns Leader (1 Jan.):
Postie Sprott an' him were ey great guns thegither.
(6) Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Poems (S.T.S.) 202:
Tho' fortune sud him force to take the gun.

II. v. 1. To gossip, to chat rapidly or animatedly (Bnff.2 1940; ‡Abd.27 1955). Hence Gunner, n.1, 3., q.v.Abd. 1813 W. Beattie Tales 9:
The auld folk sat behind our backs, An' gunn'd awa' auldfarren cracks.

2. In Mining or Quarrying: of a shot, to go off without splitting the mineral, to blow back out of the charge-hole (Bnff.2 1927; Ags. 1955).Abd. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.:
Three o' the charges gunned on me; I'll uphaud this ane winna gun.

Hence gunned shot, a shot of this nature (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 33).

3. With oot: to protrude (Abd.8 1917).Mry.1 1925:
His umbrella was gunnin' oot aneth his airm. His teeth gunned oot.

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"Gun n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Jun 2022 <>



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