Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MALISON, n. Also malesin; malicin (Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 54), mallasin (Sc. a.1830 Child Ballads No. 4. H. xii.), malysoun (Sc. 1825 Jam.); mailison (ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 139); mellison (Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 50; Per. 1816 J. Duff Poems 107); mel(l)ishon, -an, -in, -e(e)n. Sc. usages. [Sh. ′mɛlɪʃən]

1. A malediction, a curse. Now arch. or dial. in Eng. Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 165:
He got his Mother's Malison, that Day, Spoken of him that has gotten an ill Wife.
Sc. 1808  Scott Marmion v. xxv.:
Upon its dull destroyer's head! A minstrel's malison is said.
Slk. 1818  Hogg Hunt of Eildon (1874) 234:
He gave him his malison, which, he assured him, would not fall to the ground.
ne.Sc. 1836  J. Grant Tales (1869) 28:
Douglas Millar rushed from the house, invoking malisons on half the world.
Lth. 1844  Zoologist II. 558:
Malisons, malisons mair than ten, That herry the Ladie o' Heeven's hen.
Lnk. 1865  J. Hamilton Poems and Sk. 68:
My malison on them, baith heavy an' deep, Wha laid the first bow o' gude barley asteep.
Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 103:
“Geud keep me fae his filt'y cleuks!” Co' Robie, ap amang the creuks: Wi malesins fu' deep an' siccer.
Sh. 1891  J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 104:
On sic a Ack, noo mony a saal Prays mellishin!

2. Principally in Sh. usage, freq. as an imprecation: the plague, the devil (Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Sh. 1962). Sh. 1898  Shetland News (20 Aug.):
Whin dey tak a thing i' der heads, da melishen himsel' widna put dem aff hit.
Sh. 1949  J. Gray Lowrie 44:
Depend doo apon it, eddicashion is playin' da mellishon wi' croftin'.
Sh. 1958  Shetland News (30 Dec.) 4:
Dey buist ta be a mellishon's kaald apo dee.

3. A mischievous child (Cai.4 1920; Sh., Cai. 1962).

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"Malison n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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