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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TROW, v.1, n.2 Also trowe; trowl, trool, trull. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. troll, to roll, to fish by dragging a baited line through the water. [trʌu(l)]

I. v. 1. intr. To roll over, descend by rolling, to spin round (Lnk., Bwk. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also in reduplic. form trow-row.Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems 264:
Her head out owre her heels she'll trowe.
Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 116:
Blabs o' sweat, baith large and cawl, Trull'd owre his face.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian l.:
Like a stane trowling down hill.
Rxb. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 315:
Heels up, [he] trowed in the dam outright.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Verses 18:
Ower he fa's trow rowin' like a bool.
Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 133:
Wha had gowd come trowin till them.
Dmb. 1931 A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle iii. ix.:
Engrossed in watching the wee troolin' balls [bowls].

2. tr. or refl. To cause to roll, spin or turn round (Lnk., Slk. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), to trundle.Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxi.:
As I was wont to trowl down the ninepins in the skittle-ground.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's xxvi. 27:
Wha taks to trowin stanes, may hae them stottin aboot his ain croon.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae Lowland Hills 15:
I trow me roond till I face the sky — That land unkenn'd far abune me set.

3. To walk with a rolling or waddling gait (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Ppl.adj. trowin (Id.).Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 105:
Lang may you row, trow, guzzle, swatter.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 226:
There were women wi bairns in prams, loons and lassies trowing fae the school, a puckle o teachers and retired men o worth, and in the van the campers.

4. tr. and intr. To pour liquid frequently from one vessel to another (Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 469, trou); “to season a cask by rinsing it with a little wort” (Ags. 1808 Jam., to trow the brew-looms); to stir or toss up liquid food with a spoon, to cool it or in showing distaste for it (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 200).

5. With wi: to nurse (someone) in a dainty or careful manner (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 200).

II. n. 1. Any long unshapely thing which trails on the ground (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B., troll, trol(l)ie); something of a length disproportionate to its breadth (Per. 1825 Jam.).

2. The dung of horses, cows, and man (Dmf. 1825 Jam.; Fif. c.1850 Peattie MS., trollie).

3. The playing of a marble by rolling it, usu. from the palm of the hand, towards the hole. In dim. form trollie, a very large marble (Ayr. 1900).m.Lth. 1965 J. T. R. Ritchie Golden City 64:
In Musselburgh the name we give to the ‘roll-up ' is the ‘trow '.

4. A continued tossing up of liquid by means of spoon (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 200). Cf. I. 4.

5. Dainty or careful nursing (Id.). Cf. I. 5.

[The -l forms are mixed Sc.–Eng. forms (cf. also Row, v.1, rowl). Trowl is also found in Eng. from the 15th–19th cs.]

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"Trow v.1, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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