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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.

MASHLUM, n., v., adj. Also mashlam, -lom(e); mashloch, -lich, -lach (Jam.), -lock; mashli(e) (Kcd. 1814 G. Robertson Agric. Kcd. 273); mashlo; mushlie (Kcd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVIII. 622); maslum; masloch, -lach; marsh-lach, -lick, -lock, murslack; massal, messil (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.). [′mɑʃlʌm, -le]

I. n. 1. A mixture of various kinds of grain or of grain and legumes such as oats or barley, peas and beans, etc., grown together and ground into meal or flour for baking purposes (Sc. 1818 Sawers; ne.Sc., Lth., wm.Sc., Kcb. 1962). Hence used attrib. in combs. mashlum-bannock (‡Kcd. 1962), -bread, -meal, -scone (Kcb., Dmf. 1962), etc. (Sc. 1825 Jam.).Ags. 1700 A. J. Warden Burgh Laws Dundee (1872) 354:
From this time furth no member of the said Baxter Craft presume to sell the twelve penny loaf, 2s, 3s, 4s, and 6s loaves of flour bread, either fyne, middling, or mashlome.
Rnf. 1706 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876) I. 196:
By his awaytaking, in ane moon light night, . . . ane burden of mashlum corn from his neighbour.
Ayr. 1789 Burns Earnest Cry xx.:
Tell yon guid bluid o' auld Boconnock's I'll be his debt twa mashlum bonnocks.
Dmb. 1794 D. Ure Agric. Dmb. 50:
Mashlome, a mixture of oats, barley, rye, pease and beans; likewise for bread, was, till of late, cultivated by almost every farmer.
Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 39:
A paste To bring the mashlum-puddin to the taste.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xx.:
The mashlum bannocks will suit their muirland stamachs weel.
Ags. 1824 Literary Olio (10 Jan.) 4:
When she sits doun at ane's board head To muslin kail and mashlum bread She looks to Heaven.
Kcd. 1827 G. Menzies Poet. Trifles 81:
Far better dree the miser's dool, On mashlo scones frae yule to yule.
Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 100:
Or draps o' parritch left at e'en Are baked up in a mashlum scone.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxvi.:
A chack o' four-oors consistin' o' mashlie-bannocks an' sweet-milk cheese, wi' a dish o' tea to synd them ower wi'.
Sc. 1890 H. Stephens Bk. Farm V. 130:
In certain parts of the north-east of Scotland a small extent of meslin or “maslach” — in this case, perhaps, oats, barley, and rye — was at one time grown, to produce meal for use on the farm. . . . In the south-west of Scotland three-fourths or seven-eighths of oats and one-quarter or one-eighth of beans are sometimes sown together, the mixture being called “mashlam”.
Sc. 1936 J. G. Horne Flooer o' Ling 37:
A gey tirrievee 'Mang the hens in the yaird Ere the mashlum is wared.
Lnk. 1960 Stat. Acc.3 396:
Oats and beans (mashlum) have been increasingly sown together, as this forms an excellent concentrated cattle food.

2. Coarse bread made from mashlum.Sc. 1823 E. Logan St. Johnstoun II. ii.:
As lang's there's a mouthfu' o' mashlock (bread made nearly all of bran) to be had in the township.

3. A mixture of any kind of foodstuffs (Cld. 1825 Jam.).

4. Broken, crumbling particles of peat. Also mashlie moss, see quot.n.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Mashlie also denotes the broken parts of moss. Mashlie moss, a moss of this description, one in which the substance is so loose that peats cannot be cast; but the dross, or mashlie is dried, and used for the back of a fire on the hearth.

5. A confusion, a mixture, a hotch-potch (Abd. 1911 S.D.D. Suppl., marshlach, -lick).Abd. 1831 Aberdeen Mag. 640:
My memory's a strange mashlach o' joys and waes.

II. v. To roll in mashlum meal before cooking.Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 165:
To gust the gab, or glib the heart Wi' mashlum'd herrin.

III. adj. Of grains: mixed together (Sc. 1825 Jam.); fig.: muddled, confused, unharmonious (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 25:
An thus gaed on the mashlach feght.
Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 88:
To which I readily consented; and with a copy of which, shall conclude this mashlum epistle.
Sc. 1934 Scotsman (25 Aug.) 10:
The birds that raised their mashlum sang.

[O.Sc. maschlaw, 1460, massilȝon, 1479, masleach, 1575, Early Mid.Eng. mastlyoun, = 1., O.Fr. mesteillon, wheat mixed with rye.]

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"Mashlum n., v., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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