Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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THUNNER, n., v. Also thuner; tunner, tunnir, tundir (Sh.). See T, letter, 9. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. thunder. Hence thunnerie, -y, thundery. [′θʌnər; ′θʌndər; Sh. ′tʌn(d)ər. See D, letter, 2.]

I. n. As in Eng. Sc. combs. and phr.: (1) like a thunner, in a noisy explosive manner; (2) thunner-an-lichtenin, lung-wort, Pulmonaria officinalis (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 193; Bnff., Abd., Slg., Fif. 1972); also applied to various similar plants having succulent white spotted leaves (Abd. 1966); the red campion, Lychnis diurna (Ayr. 1972); (3) thunderbell, a blue wild-flower, ? the harebell. Bells were thought to ward off thunder; (4) thunderbolt, an object popularly supposed to have fallen from the sky in a thunderstorm, applied to fossils, flint axes, etc., the origin of which was not understood. Also in colloq. or dial. Eng.; (5) thunnercup, the common red field poppy, Papaver rheas (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (6) thunner flour, id. (Abd. 1957). Also in Eng. dial.; (7) thunder leem, a flash of lightning. Liter. See Leam, n.; (8) thunder-plump, a sudden heavy thunder-shower (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 449; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. See Plump, n.2, 2.; (9) thunder-shock, a thunder-bolt; (10) thunner spale, -speal, -spell, a thin flat piece of wood, usu. notched at the side and bored at one end for a string by which it is whirled swiftly round so as to produce a rumbling roaring noise like thunder, a bull-roarer (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 449; Sh., Abd. 1937); (11) thunner spate, -speet, = (8) (Sh. 1972); (12) thunner wa', a bank of thunder-clouds. Liter. (1) Ayr. 1927 J. Carruthers A Man Beset i. ii.:
He set me aff like a thunner.
(3) Bwk. c.1870 D. Cairns Autobiog. (1950) 57:
Purple vetches, blue thunderbells and red poppies, lady's bedstraw and lovely brier-roses.
(4) Sc. 1814 Scott Diary (8 Aug.):
The most superb collection of the stone axes . . . called celts. The Zetlanders call them thunderbolts, and keep them in their houses as a receipt against thunder.
Crm. 1841 H. Miller Old Red Sandstone 11:
The country people called them thunderbolts. I learned in time to call this stone a belemite.
(7) Sc. 1820 Scots Mag. (May) 423:
In a widden dreme, the thunder-leem Shot ower me blae as lead.
(8) Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals i.:
It came on such a thunder-plump.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. x.:
As obstinate as a moorland burn in a thunder plump.
Sc. 1884 Scottish Reader (5 July) 79:
One day he was caught in a thunder-plump.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xvi.:
As in a thunder-plump, the folk ran back into their closes.
(9) Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables 44:
Upon them like a thunner-shock this fell.
(10) Gall. 1822 Scots Mag. (June) 799:
A “thunder spale”, skilfully whirled beneath the school-yard “dike”, suggested the notion of the distant thunder-clap.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 153:
During thunder it was not unusual for boys to take a piece of thin wood a few inches wide and about half-a-foot long, bore a hole in one end of it, and tie a few yards of twine into the hole. The piece of wood was rapidly whirled round the head, under the belief that the thunder would cease, or that the thunderbolt would not strike. It went by the name of “thunner-spell.”
Gsw. 1932 Daily Mail (23 Dec.):
The thunner speal was simply a shaving of wood notched on both sides, with a string fastened to it.
(11) Sh. 1899 Shetland News (5 Aug.):
Fader fir sic a vaandlöb! aless hit been a thunder-speet.
(12) Sc. 1925 H. M'Diarmid Sangschaw 17:
Oot owre the thunner-wa' She haiks her shinin' breists.

II. v. In ppl.adjs.: (1) thunnered, of liquids, esp. milk: tainted, soured, affected by thundery weather (ne., em.Sc. (a), Dmf., Rxb. 1972); (2) thunnerin, “applied to drought, as a thunnerin drouth, a strong drought, apparently expressing that which is viewed as the effect of fire in the air, or lightning” (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.). (1) Mry. 1875 W. Tester Select Poems 9:
Like thunder'd beer, I whyles get flat.
Sc. 1877 J. S. Blackie Wise Men 326:
Some, like thundered milk, have turned the sweet to sour.

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"Thunner n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2021 <>



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