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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.

RUSH, v., n.1 Also roosh; ¶ruch. Sc. usages. [rʌʃ, ‡ruʃ]

I. v. 1. In deriv. rushie (from n., 1.), to create a scramble for (goods).Fif. 1894 A. S. Robertson Provost 108:
I ken ye're a' daft to get them, but I'm no gaunna rushie them, but sell them doucely for sixpence each.

2. To suffer from dysentery. Vbl.n. rushing, dysentery in animals, esp. sheep and cattle (Cai., Rxb. 1968). Cf. n., 2.e.Lth. 1907 Trans. Highl. Soc. XIX. 157:
The lambs soon begin to “rush”, and some to die.
Cai. 1928 Trans. Highl. Soc. XL. 226:
Wild white clover got the blame of causing “rushing” in cattle and sheep.

3. Of the side of an excavation or of a rubble or stone wall: to collapse.Kcb. 1967:
The side o' the grave rushed wi' us.

4. To flirt with, to court, to walk (a girl) out (Cai., Mry., Bnff., Ags., Fif., Dmf. 1968).Bnff. 1964 Banffshire Jnl. (11 Feb.) 3:
“Rushin' the girls,” was the term used then for the coortin', and it was certainly more pithy than the modern insipid “going with.”

II. n. 1. As in Eng. Freq. in dim. forms rushie, rooshie, a scramble, broil, hubbub (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif. 1968), and reduplic. forms rooshie-doo, a noisy squabble, rooshie-doucie, a pell-mell scramble, a helter-skelter. See Doose. Specif. a raid on the stakes of marbles during a game (Lnk. 1927, roosh; Abd. 1972); a scatter of coins at a wedding for children to scramble for (Fif. 1967, rooshie).Fif. 1894 A. S. Robertson Provost 49:
Ye never saw sic a rushie a' the days o' yer life.
Edb. 1897 W. Beatty Secretar xi.:
In the rooshie doucie the guard might have sic a to-do to save their ain skins, that I might manage to come off with mine.
Abd. 1932 D. Campbell Bamboozled 25:
Sic a rooshie-doo atween Benjie an' the Keeper.

2. Dysentery, esp. in sheep and cattle “when first put upon new or rank pasture” (Sc. 1799 Trans. Highl. Soc. III. 407; Lth., Rxb. 1825 Jam.).Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 37:
A rumbling in her muckle bag, what we kintry fouks ca's a rush i' the guts.
Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Agric. Scot. III. 165:
Diarrhoea. This is another disorder to which young sheep are liable; it is commonly denominated the Rush.

3. A skin eruption, a rash (Sc. 1825 Jam., 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 47; Rs. 1929; Ork., ne., em.Sc.(a), wm., sm.Sc., Slk. 1968), specif. of scarlet fever. Comb. rush-fever, scarlet fever, scarlatina (Sc. 1825 Jam.; w.Lth., Ayr. 1968). For the development of the sense cf. fleein-oot s.v. Flee, v.1, 2. (21), Outstrik, and eruption, and poss. the influence of the sim. sounding rash.Sc. 1741 Caled. Mercury (14 July):
Rush, 1. Teething, 9. Stilborn, 7. Drowned, 1. [List of diseases of which people died].
Abd. 1756 Caled. Mercury (22 May):
Sunday last died at Aberdeen, of a Rush Fever, Mr Robert Craigie, advocate.
Lth. 1771 Session Papers, Veitch v. Simpson State of Process 15:
There was a rush came out upon his skin.
Per. 1805 Letters J. Ramsay (S.H.S.) 155:
Smarting under what you call the Rush.
Lnk. 1824 Sc. Peasants iii.:
The rush fever was among the bairns, and they gat cauld, and aye dwined.
Ags. 1860 A. Whamond James Tacket xxxi.:
Hir bairns no weel and shes feared its the ruch fivir.
Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. 92:
Whisky and sulphur . . . were administered to bring out the “rush”.

4. A luxuriant growth or shooting-up of vegetation, or hair (I.Sc., Ags. 1968), poss. an adaption of rusk, Roosk.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
A rush o' corn, o' breer, o' hair, o' whiskers.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
A rush o' girs, corn, etc.

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"Rush v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Jun 2022 <>



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