Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

POWAN, n. Also powen, poan. A freshwater fish, Coregonus elupeoides, found in Scotland only in Loch Lomond and Loch Eck (Sc. 1808 Jam., 1896 N.B. Daily Mail (9 June) 5; Slg. 1903 E.D.D.; wm.Sc. 1966). [′pʌuən]Dmb. 1711 J. Chamberlayne Pres. State Scot. 74:
This Lake abounds with Fish of several sorts, and with one sort call'd Poans, and by some Pollacks, which is peculiar to this Lake, and very delicious to eat, being a kind of Eel.
Sc. 1760 R. Pococke Tours (S.H.S.) 63:
Powens, which are a sort of white fish, a kind of fresh water herring, and not very good.
Dmb. 1817 J. Walker Poems 111:
What shoals o' powans scatter'd wide.
Dmb. 1932 H. Lamond Days & Ways 83:
The vendace is a survival from post-glacial times, like the . . . powan of Loch Lomond and Loch Eck.
Sc. 2000 Herald (20 Jan) 10:
Powan, a protected species, gather each January to reproduce in shallow waters just off Drumkinnon Bay in Balloch. The breeding ground is a few metres away from the planned site for Lomond Shores.
Sc. 2000 Herald (20 Jan) 10:
Powan, similar to herring but more closely related to salmon, is only found in one other location - Loch Eck in Argyll.

[O.Sc. powan, id., 1633, Gael. pollan, id. Cf. Pollack, id., and for phonology, Gowan.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Powan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: