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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

SCUSH, v., n. Also skish. Most freq. in deriv. forms scushle, -el, skus(c)hel, -le. [skʌʃ(l); Cai. skuʃ(l)]

I. v. 1. To shuffle, to walk with a shambling gait not lifting the feet from the ground (Sc. 1825 Jam., scushle; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; ne.Sc. 1969, scush(le)).Kcd. 1811 Rymour Club Misc. (1906) I. 29:
Grannie fell into a ditch by the way She hushled, she scushled, she kent na well hoo.
Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes lxxiv.:
I heard sic a scushlin' and a shochlin' upo' the brig!
Abd. 1927 J. Gray Stray Leaves xlv. 7:
Granda did not lift his feet when he walked, he just skished like.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 7:
[Her] pair o' scushlin' sheen.
Bnff. 1956 Banffshire Jnl. (21 Aug.):
Awa' he skuschled wi' his aul' bauchelt sheen clattin' at his heels.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 17:
Ma hans are scorie-hornt,
An fyles I fin masel
Skushlin ma feet, as ma midder did
Oot teemin the orra pail.

2. To work in a careless, slovenly manner (Cld. 1880 Jam.); to give an article of dress rough usage (Cai. 1904 E.D.D., scushle).

II. n. 1. A shuffling, scuffling with the feet or the noise of this (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Cld. 1880 Id.; ne.Sc. 1969); the shuffling movement in hop-scotch (Bnff. 1969).

2. An old worn-down shoe (Abd. 1825 Jam., scushle; Bnff. 1969); any clumsy or dilapidated article, used attrib. in 1833 quot.Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 142:
Afore a young dame tak' the street Wi' twa aul' scushills on her feet.
Ags. 1833 J. S. Sands Poems 106:
Aweel, we landit at this ferry, W' a scushel thing they ca' a wherry.
Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 25:
Stap yer feet in'o some bits o' auld skushels.

3. The act of working in a careless unmethodical manner, slovenly, slip-shod work (Cld. 1880 Jam.).

[Orig. chiefly imit. of the shuffling noise, phs. with some influence from Scash.]

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"Scush v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Aug 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/scush>

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