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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BOWER, Bouar, Bouer, Booer, n.1 (See 1929 and 1930 quots.) [′bʌuər, ′buər]Sc. 1732 J. Colston Guildry Edb. (1887) 141:
Elizabeth Gillespie, relict of Pat. Fyffe, bower burges, £6 quarterly.
Edb. 1929 (per Edb.1); Lnk.3 1935:
Bower (pronounced boor), dairy contractor.
s.Sc. 1930 I. F. Grant Social and Economic Scot. 106:
The custom of letting stock with the land . . . survives to the present day in the South West, the tenant being known as a “bower.”
Ayr. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 V. 399:
The owners of the cows are relieved of a great deal of care, while the booers, on the other hand, get an interest in the management, which is supposed to add considerably to the value of the produce.
Ayr. 1866 Trans. Highl. Soc. 84:
"The bowers" are sharp fellows, seldom taking cows but on really good grazing farms.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Thir Notandums xv.; Ayr.8, Kcb.9 1935:
Left her there wi' the bouar's wife.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Bower. One who has the management of or rents a herd of cows (with feed) for dairy purposes.

Hence bowerie, the condition of being a bower, tenancy of a herd of cows (Rnf. 1703 in Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) B. 313). See bowman s.v. Bow, n.2, 1. above.

[See Bow, n.2, and Bowin, n.2]

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"Bower n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



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