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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SAB, v.2, n.2 Also sabb; sob. Deriv. sabble. [sɑb; sɑbl]

I. v., tr. and intr. To soak, seep, saturate (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928), sabb; Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1969). Ppl.adj. sabbit (Sh. 1969), sabbed (Marw.), soaked. Freq. form sabble, to dabble, stir about in liquid food.Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. 154:
The weet had sabbid thro the sand tae the tatties.
Sh. 1949 New Shetlander No. 18. 12:
Robbie wis sabbit troo an' troo.
Ork. 1950:
The bairns were sabblin' wi' their soup.

II. n. A soaking, saturating, esp. of a heavy downpour of rain, a thunder shower.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 80:
Says Norie: “Na, yon summer sob is out. This night lookes well . . .”

[Corresp. to Eng. dial. and U.S. sob, to soak, and appar. of Scand. orig. Cf. Swed. dial. sabba, to soil, soak, Norw. dial. sabben, rainy, of the sky, and also Ger. sabbeln, dial. sabbern, to slobber at food, to rain steadily. Phs. also related to Sab, v.1, and Sap.]

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"Sab v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Mar 2023 <>



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