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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MEASURE, v., n. Sc. forms (mainly ne. and I.Sc.): measer (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 33); messer; misser (Sh. 1898 Shetland News (27 Aug.)), missour, misure, mezzur (Rnf. 1876 D. Gilmour Paisley Weavers 46), mizzur(e), -o(u)r, -er, -ar; mizhurmeesyir (Abd. 1966 Press & Jnl. (26 Feb.)); measur, meesure, mizzer.  [′mɪzər, ′mɪzh.ər].

I. Sc. forms of Eng. measure (meesure Ags., Fif., Arg., Rxb.; mizzer Sh. 2000s).Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 58:
The tenant's swackened the latch
Wi a jeelip o Grassic Gibbon,
A swatch o Scott,
A drappie Stevenson
An lick an spit o
Ogston, Murray and Mackie
Fur gweed measur.

I. v. 1. As in Eng. Sc. proverbial expressions.Abd. 1926 Banffshire Jnl. (23 March) 2:
We are inclined to “mizzer wir neeper wi' oor ain ell-wan'.”
Sh. 1951 Sh. Folk Book II. 63:
Mizzer twyse an cut wanse (Think before you speak).

2. To unload a herring boat's catch and determine its amount (Sh. 1962).Sh. 1937 Toilers of the Deep (July) 133:
Discharging or “measuring” takes some hours, especially with big “shots”, and we are usually covered with scales from head to foot.

II. n. The act of unloading a herring boat's catch and ascertaining the amount of fish caught; transf. a (small) catch of herring.Sh. 1898 Shetland News (13 Aug.):
Wid Donald Ertirson sleep soond if he saw ane takkin a skjöpfu' o' herrin', lat alane a hauf o' kishie oot afore da misser?
Sh.10 1962:
“Did you get ony da streen?” “Na, just a mizzer.”

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"Measure v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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