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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

LUME, n. Also luim; löm, lü(u)m, leum (I.Sc.); lim(m), lam-; liume. I., m. and s.Sc. forms and usages of Eng. loom. For n.Sc. forms see Leem, n.1 [Sc. løm, lym, lɪm; em.Sc.(a) lem]

1. An implement, tool, instrument, contrivance in gen. (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, 1808 Jam.). For comb. wark-lume see Wark.Sc. 1823 Scott Q. Durward xv.:
That cleft morion — a bonnet . . . will keep his head better than that broken loom.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 51:
But, will-a-wins! your hands are toom O' chappin-stick and weirlike loom, To batter at the bawd o' Rome.
Fif. 1831 Fife Herald (6 Oct.):
Horse Harness, Barn Looms, Girnel, and 500 stones of Hay.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin iv.:
“They wad get the contents o' that lume i' their wames, though!” said Willie, pu'in' oot a muckle horse pistol.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 374:
“There's plenty o' looms at hame,” quo she. “Rab aye likit a routh o' gimmels.”

2. A dish, vessel, receptacle, esp. of the tub, basin or bowl order, a pail (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1961). Combs. brew(ing)-, masking-lume, the tub in which the wort for ale is made, milk-lume, washing-, etc. (Sc. 1808 Jam.).Sc. 1705 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 414:
Payed to robert jonstoune, Couper at Colintoune Kirk for . . . Salarie for mending and upholding the brewing and washing loomes . . . I have agreed with him for upholding all the said loomes till this time 12 month.
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 13:
Some said it was the Pith of Broom That she stow'd in her Masking-loom Which in our Heads rais'd sic a Foom.
Per. 1747 J. Christie Witchcraft in Kenmore 9:
She advised them to wash and plot their milk looms well.
Ags. 1799 Dundee Mag. (July):
In urinals we are highly improved; and from the wooden loom and brown jar we have ascended to the fair cream and clouded China-ware.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xxiii.:
That loom's an auld acquaintance o' mine. I could take my aith to that sneeshing-mull amang a thousand.
Ags. 1820 Montrose Chron. (12 May):
A good Eight Day Clock, some Dairy Looms, and a parcel of Ash Wood, etc.
Bnff. 1852 A. Harper Solitary Hours 75:
Ye sonsie looms erst made o' logs — Caups, gockies, bassies, gabie-cogs.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (18 Aug.):
Da grices hae a wye o' rötin' ony löm 'at's empty afore dem, fil hits in wan clatsh o' gutter.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 85:
In merches Clemmie wi' a sap o' watter in a tin luum.

3. Fig. The sexual parts.Abd. 1746 W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd (1765) 35:
Alas! that e'er my loom I lent That day to thee!
ne.Sc. 1832 P. Buchan Secret Songs 108:
If ye lend your loom to me, I'll lend you mine again, O.

4. A weaving loom (Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; I., em.Sc., Kcb., s.Sc. 1961). Dim. lamie.Sc. 1829 R. Chambers Sc. Songs I. 146:
The treddles, Johnnie, 's aul', and the lume is frail and rotten.
Ayr. 1842 Children in Trades Report (2) i 23:
On Monday he is to get “a Lamie” to weave.
Gsw. 1869 E. Johnston Poems 86:
There was muckle said and dune, Jamie, by mair than ane or twa, To take frae me my limm, Jamie, and get me turned awa.
Abd. 1882 W. Forsyth Writings 25:
But, haith, afore yer ravelt pirnie Rax upon the wyver's liume.
Ork. 1885 W. T. Dennison Peace's Almanac 127:
Woo' on the sheep, claith i' the leum.
Sc. 1895 R. Ford Thistledown 3:
The Perthshire man will say that “the spune's on the luim”; and the Glasgow citizen will inform you that “The spin's on the lim.”
Rxb. 1957 Scotsman (27 July) 8:
There's a cheery sort o dirdum in the clackin o the luims.

Combs.: (1) lume-breeks, trousers made in a (factory-)loom; (2) loom-shop, see under (3); (3) loom-stance, a place for a loom in a weaver's shop; (4) loom-stead, id.; (5) loom-stoop, one of the posts of a loom.(1) Fif. 1873 J. Wood Ceres Races 44:
He should a haen his Sabbath pair, Lume-breeks are chackit aye sae sair.
(2) Per. 1939 L. Melville Land of Gowrie 43:
Spirits were sold in a shop nearby by Ann Jack, and next to it was a “loom shop,” in which several looms were worked, all of which wove sacking.
(3) Sc. 1876 S. R. Whitehead Daft Davie 6:
The shop, containing generally several looms — a loom-stance being often sublet by the householder — was on the other.
(4) Sc. 1870 I. Burns Life W.C. Burns 101:
The weaving loomsteads.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 116:
Thomas Beam . . . had left his lumestead when he saw us coming.
(5) Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 83:
An' nae worthless story, or vile foutie strain, On that lay or loom-stoops a fittin' could gain.

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"Lume n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 May 2024 <>



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