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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCROO, n., v. Also screw, skroo, skrew, skru, †scrow. Edm. also erron. skree. Dims. screwie, screwag (Cai.).

I. n. A stack of corn, hay or straw (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh., Ork., Cai., 1969); a stack of corn sheaves, esp. one built in a field to expedite drying (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Ork., Cai., Mry., Bnff., Abd. 1969). Combs. han-scroo, id. (Cai. 1969), screwsteeth, a rick foundation (Ork. 1969). See Steid.Ork. 1747 P. Ork. A.S. XII. 49:
The piece of a beam of a ships deck, and 2 pices of another for the Screwsteeths.
Ork. 1766 P. Fea MS. Diary (14 Feb.):
Got a Screw of Corn in the barn.
Sh. 1777 J. Mill Diary (S.H.S.) 52:
The hay stack gathered heat which obliged me to cause pull it down forthwith, and put it again in small screws.
Sth. 1812 J. Henderson Agric. Sth. 78:
The hay thus collected is put into small coles, and shaken once or twice a day (if the weather be fair) for a week, when it is ready to be packed into small shocks (provincially called screws), secured with ropes made of heather.
Ork. 1874 Trans. Highl. Soc. 31:
For the most, the crop when cut is put up in small stacks, locally termed “skrews.” These contain from 24 to 48 sheaves, according to size.
Abd. 1884 farmer's diary (private MS) 22 Sep :
Finish off our harvest unless some screws of barley.
Cai. 1905 Justiciary Reports (1906) 640:
A screw or stack of hay at Achalone.
Sh. 1915 Old-Lore Misc. VIII. 60:
Lakely tinkin on his aet skrus.
Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (25 Oct.):
Makin' hame a' they could bicker til tie doon their screwags.
Abd. 1957 People's Jnl. (14 Sept.):
Thrashin' oot the hinmaist screwie o' the auld crap for corn tae the hens.

II. v. To build corn, etc., into stacks or scroos (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Ork. 1929 Marw.; I.Sc. 1969).Ork. 1766 P. Fea MS. Diary (15 Sept.):
Had 4 men scrowing the bear of the Gornside.
Sh. 1874 Trans. Highl. Soc. 245:
The sheaves . . . are “skrewed” as it is called, that is, about a couple of cart-loads are made into small ricks with a good water shed, and after standing a sufficient time, they are removed and thrown together into stacks of a larger size.
Ork. 1911 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 21:
Before carts came into use the sheaves were carried and all screwed together on a grassy knowe. Latterly, big houses screwed three rigs together on the field. It stood perhaps a month in the screws or dasses, and was then built.
Abd.15 1930:
We screwed the sheaf hey. It wis hardly wun aneuch for gyaan intil a ruck.
Sh. 1947 Sh. Folk Bk. (Tait) I. 44:
I saa de coo come furt ta screw In a moarnin' o' Mey O.

[O.Sc. skrow, = I., 1604, scrow, = II. 1644, Norw. dial. skruv, O.N. skrúf, a cornstack, hay-cock.]

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"Scroo n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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