Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MUSSELBURGH, prop. n. Also †Musleburgh. The name of a fishing port near Edinburgh renowned for its mussel-beds.

Combs.: †1. Musselburgh ankerstock, a large loaf of wheatmeal or rye traditionally associated with Musselburgh. See Anchor-Stock; 2. Musselburgh bap, a bread roll topped with mussel shells, traditionally associated with Musselburgh; 3. Musselburgh iron, in golf: a Cleek or similar club used instead of a driver for playing shorter shots. Hence a run-up shot (see quot.); 4. Musselburgh stuffs, a cheap woven material of narrow width; 5. Musselburgh trout, a large, inferior species of sea-trout, the bull-trout, Salmo trutta. 1. Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch vii.:
A Musselburgh ankerstoke, to slice down for tea-drinkings and posset cups.
2. m.Lth. 1956 Sc. Daily Mail (15 Aug.):
Earlier, the Queen Mother and her sister, Lady Elphinstone, received the Freedom of the Burgh, and a Musselburgh “bap” — a bread roll with three mussel shells on top.
3. Sc. 1890 Scots Mag. (May) 469:
Listening to the click of the balls off the putters, facetiously termed “the Musselburgh irons.”
m.Lth. 1956 Scotsman (18 Dec.) 9:
Ferguson, who won a whole series of six matches against Tom Morris, was a specialist with the cleek, and he and others of the old Musselburgh school all exploited what was called “the Musselburgh iron,” a run-up shot which seems to have now become fashionable in the American lexicon as “the Texas wedge.”
4. e.Lth. 1726 J. Paterson Musselburgh (1857) 58:
Punished by the magistrates for working Musselburgh stuffs and camlets . . . contrair to the established standard.
Sc. 1733 P. Lindsay Interest Scot. 106:
At Musleburgh there is a considerable Manufacture of low-pric'd narrow Goods. from thence called Musleburgh-stuffs, for Home-consumpt, and Exports to the Plantations.
5. Edb. 1836 W. Yarrell Fishes (1859) I. 238:
The Bull Trout is an inferior fish, and is exactly what is called at Dalkeith and Edinburgh, Musselburgh Trout.

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"Musselburgh prop. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <>



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