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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

MUSH, n.1, v.1 Freq. forms mus(c)hle, mussle, and dim. n. forms musshuch, mussock.

Sc. usages:

I. n. 1. The mixture of oak sawdust and chips burned in smoking herring to make kippers. Comb. mush-house, a store for mush (Sh., ne.Sc. 1963).Abd. 1947 Press & Jnl. (17 Nov.):
The bone-dry mush and other inflammable material common to a kippering kiln blazed with great ferocity.
Abd. 1956 Fraserburgh Herald (3 July):
Out for a stroll two men saw smoke issuing from the mush-house of the kippering premises. They entered the premises and found a bag of mush burning behind the door.

2. A lavish spread of food, a feast.Arg.2 1931:
Ther wuz a great mush up at the fairm on Hogmanay.

3. The slow but continuous use of anything by degrees (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 116).

4. In deriv. mus(c)hle, a confusion, a muddle, a mix-up (Cai. 1903 E.D.D.).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 116:
A' thing's in an unco muschle.

5. Gen. in derivs. mushoch, musshuch, mussock: a carelessly heaped, disorderly pile of dry materials, such as straw, grain, hay or chaff (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 335, mush(och), Gall. 1963); a heap of threshed seed corn. Comb. mushochrape, a rope for confining such a heap. Cf. Musk, n.3Kcb. 1721 Session Minutes Kelton Par. Ch. (15 April):
The officer having ryped the barn found the harrow . . . hid under the mussock of Corn.
Kcb. 1789 Dmf. Weekly Jnl. (14 April):
A bing, or musshuck of unwinnowed corn.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 355:
Mushoch — A heap of grain, thrashed out and laid aside in a corner for seed; this grain is confined into as small a bulk as possible, by surrounding it with mushochropes, thick ropes twisted on purpose.

II. v. 1. To throw into confusion, to mix up or together in a confused manner (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff 116, mushle; Ayr. 1880 Jam., mussle; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.).

2. To reduce to mush, to use up little by little in a wasteful manner, to consume or eat by slow degrees (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 116). Ppl.adj. mushlin, applied to one who is constantly nibbling away at dainty morsels, esp. in secret (Ib.).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 116:
We've a gueede puckle streh, but wir bits o' beasties 'ill muschlet awa', or the weentir be our.

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"Mush n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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