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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

ROUND ABOUT, n. Also roun', roon(d); -aboot. Sc. forms and usages. [′runəbut]

1. A circular fort or earthwork of early or pre-historic date (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ayr., Rxb. 1968). Also in local Eng. usage.Rxb. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVI. 84:
There are a great many round-abouts in the parish, commonly called Picts Works. They are all circular, and strongly fortified by a wall, composed of large stones.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary i.:
Aided by his desire of showing his companion a Pict's camp, or Round-about.

2. A circular roll baked of coarse flour; a circular oatcake pinched all round with the finger and thumb (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Bnff. 1968).Sc. 1706 J. Watson Choice Coll. i. 23:
For Rolls, for Nacketts, Roundabouts, Sour Cakes.
Sc. 1763 Boswell London Jnl. (1950) 216:
They were leaving all the significance and splendour and gaiety of the Metropolis, and were gaein down to Halkerston's Wynd and wigs and roundabouts.
Edb. 1825 R. Chambers Traditions II. 54:
A woman — in by-gone times, kept a little stall at the head of the Old Fishmarket Close, and sold such savoury morsels from a dripping-pan, accompanied by a species of roll called bawbee roundabouts, baked of coarse flour, and resembling what are now known among the boys of Edinburgh by the name of halfpenny scones.

3. A hearth or fireplace which is situated in the middle of a floor with room for seats all round it. Also comb. round-about fireside.Peb. 1802 C. Findlater Agric. Peb. 40:
The round-about fire side . . . was universally in use in the kitchen; that is, a circular grate placed upon the floor about the middle of the kitchen, with a frame of lath and plaster, or spars and mats, suspended over it . . . like an inverted funnel, for conveying the smoke; the whole family sitting round the fire within the circumference of the inverted funnel.

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"Round About n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2024 <>



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