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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.

SKOOSH, v., n., adv. Also sc(h)oosh. [skuʃ]

I. 1. v. tr. and intr. Of liquids: to (make to) gush in spurts or splashes, to squirt; of solid objects: to dart, to glide or move rapidly with a swishing sound, to swish. Gen.Sc. Comb. †skoosh-car, a tramcar, from the noise made by the wheels on the tracks (wm.Sc. 1955). Deriv. skoosher, a utensil for sprinkling or spraying, a sprinkler (Inv., Abd., Per., Lth., wm.Sc. 1970). Comb. ring, bang, scoosh, the name of a children's game (see 1965 quot.).Lnk. 1890 J. Coghill Poems 120:
It wad scoosh awa' roun' muckle stanes.
Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie viii.:
Doon the length o' Yoker on the skoosh car.
Lnk. 1928 Bellshill Speaker (12 Oct.):
I'd see the 'buses schooshin' by.
Lnk. 1933:
A boy of 11 stabbed him and he was ‘skooshing with blood'.
Cai. 1961 “Castlegreen” Tatties an' Herreen' 21:
D'ye see 'e wey they wheech along an' scoosh roon' 'e coarners?
Edb. 1965 J. K. Annand Sing it Aince 36:
Water coloured pink That I can hae to synd my mou' Syne skoosh intil his sink.
Edb. 1965 J. T. R. Ritchie Golden City 35:
Ring, Bang, Scoosh — “Ring!” — ye ring the bell; “Bang!” — ye kick the door; “Scoosh!” — ye run for it.
Per.6 1970:
“Scoosh” was much used by young people in the twenties and thirties as a term in country dancing for side-stepping.
Gsw. 1972 Molly Weir Best Foot Forward (1974) 188:
... once my embarrassment was forgotten those flat shoes were marvellous for scooshing up and down the hall during the quadrilles, and for leaping round the hall dancing the Dashing White Sergeant.
Edb. 1995 Irvine Welsh Marabou Stork Nightmares (1996) 22:
I loved catching bees in the summer. We'd fill auld Squeezy detergent bottles with water and skoosh the bee as it sucked at the nectar on the flower.
wm.Sc. 1995 Alan Warner Morvern Callar 81:
There wasnt that much blood till at one part I pushed down heavily on a portion and a jet scooshed up from a dry-looking vein and trickled off my bosoms and front getting onto my thighs.
Sc. 2000 Edinburgh Evening News (27 Nov) 11:
To add to the many Starbucks, not to mention branches of Costa, the Seattle coffee company, Coffee Republic, or the hundreds of cafes and take-aways who have invested heavily in gurgling, frothing, scooshing equipment, there is a newcomer, Kariba, which plans to open a shop on the High Street.

2. In phr. skoosh it, To do something with ease (Edb., Gsw., Ayr. 2000s).Gsw. 1987 Peter Mason C'mon Geeze Yer Patter! 56:
Git tore inty them! Ye'll skoosh it! Participate enthusiastically! You will win easily!
Sc. 1996 Daily Record (5 Aug) 38:
The Scot couldn't stop Irish outfit Crusaders crashing to Zilgiris Vilnius in the UEFA Cup prelim round, but he insists the Dons will skoosh it because the Lithuanians - like their country - are awful.
Sc. 1999 Herald (20 Sep) 12:
In the Ayr Gold Cup, the richest sprint handicap in Europe, Astonished was going to skoosh it.

II. n. 1. A splash, spurt, jet of water or other liquid (n. and m.Sc. 1970).

2. Lemonade or other aerated water, esp. when mixed with alcoholic drinks (m.Sc. 1970).Sc. 1965 Rebels Ceilidh Song Bk. No. 2. 9:
He had some Scotch and scoosh.

3. A variation of the game of marbles, in which 6 marbles were placed against a wall, and a chalk line drawn 3–4 yds. away, which the player might not cross. He then attempted to hit the marbles with a large marble, and, if successful, kept those he had hit, and had another throw. If he were unsuccessful, another player took his turn (Dmf. c.1910).

4. Something done with ease (Edb., Gsw., Ayr. 2000s).Gsw. 1997 Glaswegian (24 July):
I'm going to have a word with Gary McAllister ... scoring from the spot's a skoosh!
Sc. 1997 Scotsman (26 Nov) 21:
Our estimable Secretary of State, Donald Dewar, used a splendid Scots word the other day. Writing the bill to give legal flesh to the bones of the Scottish parliament white paper, was not, he said, a downhill "skoosh". ..., which is of course: something that is "easie-peasie".
Sc. 2000 Sunday Herald (30 Jul) 16:
Thus I was the Festival Diarist for a newspaper I didn't like, for people I disowned, writing on an event of which I disapproved, and with a workload Stakhanov would have resigned from. It was a skoosh, apart from the workload.

III. adv. With a splash or swish (ne.Sc., e. and wm.Sc. 1970).


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"Skoosh v., n., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 May 2024 <>



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