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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LOUSE, n. Also loose; luce (Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 28). Dims. loosie (Sc. 1927 Scots Mag. (April) 72); lousock (Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 101). Adj. loosie, -ey, loozie, -y, lous(e)y. [n. lus; adj. ′lu:zi]

Sc. combs.: 1. buckie lice, the seeds of the wild rose, Rosa canina, from the resemblance (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 100). See Buckie, n.2; 2. lous(e)y arnut, loozie-, lucie-, lucy-, the earth-nut, Bunium flexuosum (Mry. 1839 G. Gordon Flora Mry. 10; Ags. 1848 W. Gardiner Flora Frf. 81; Slg. 1886 B. and H.; Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., lucy-ernit; Mry., Ags., Per., Fif., Ayr. 1961), so called from the superstition that children who ate these became infested with lice; 3. loosy-tramps, the burs of robin-run-the-hedge or cleavers, Galium aparine, so called from their being easily transferred to one's clothes from contact with the plant (Rxb. 1915 Jedburgh Gaz. (10 Sept.) 2).2. Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin v.:
We . . . set aff to the Whunny Muir to seek youts' nests an' howk lousy arnuts.
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 142:
He had spent the afternoon in question “howkin' lucy-arnuts.”
Fif. 1916 G. Blaik Rustic Rhymes 190:
He had a knife wi' richt lang blade To houk up lucy-aurnuts.

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"Louse n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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