Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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RAMSH, adj. Also ra(a)mse, rampse (Sh., Ork.) and derivs. ramsie, ramschoch, -sheugh. [rɑmʃ; Sh. rɑms]

1. Of eatables: rank or unpleasant to the palate, coarse (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 182, ramsheugh; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; I. and ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Fif. 1967); of spirits: fiery, raw (Bnff.6 c.1930). Comb. ramse-tasted (Ork. 1967). Ayr. 1897 H. Ochiltree Out of her Shroud i.:
I would gladly woo and win your daughter, but not by force. It would be too much like leading her in a tether-string — a ramsh pleasure, though the clover were e'er so sweet.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (20 Jan.):
Hit [whisky]'s dat raamse, man, hit's shürely ower strong.
Abd. 1921 T.S.D.C.:
Brose is gey ramsh for a delicate stomach in the mornin'.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 112:
Doo'l fin hit rampse i' da first, bit pit doo hit doon.

2. Brusque, testy (Abd. 1967). Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xvi:
Jinse gave symptoms of breaking into tears and Mrs. Gibb interposed with a, “Hoot, man!, ye're aye sae ramsh wi' fowk.”
Abd. 1936 D. Bruce Cheengefu' Wordle 24:
Oh, Alec, foo did ye say that? Ye're a' that ramsh wi' folk, you Ross's, jist up an' speak oot an' niver think fut'll come o't.

3. Rough and coarse-textured, e.g. of yarn (Fif. 1921 T.S.D.C.; Ork. (ramsie), Kcd., Per. 1967), of a grain crop with heavy straw and little grain (Abd. 1921 T.S.D.C.).

[Appar. a reduced form of n.Eng. dial. rammisch, acrid, pungent, rank, from Eng. dial. ram, of Scand. orig. Cf. Dan. ram, id. Dan. has also the form ramsk.]

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"Ramsh adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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