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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CAT HARROW, Kat —, n. comb. Often used in pl. [kɑt ′hɑro(z), -′hɑro(s) (Marw.)]

1. In phrs.: †(1) to draw the cat harrow(s) (see first quot.); (2) to go through the kat harrows (see quot.); cf. Eng. through the harrow, in great distress or tribulation.(1) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 329:
They draw the Cat Harrow. — That is, they thwart one another.
Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling of Glenthorn III. viii.:
But if ans him and you begin to draw the cat harrows, Love will loup out at the window.
(2) Ork. 1929 Marw.:
He's surely been through the kat harrows, i.e. had a serious experience of some sort, a time of strain.

2. The name of a game: †(1) “the same with Cat and Dog” [s.v. Cat, n.2] (Ags., Lth. 1808 Jam.); †(2) “a nursery game, played by pulling crossing loops of thread” (Sc. 1893 N.E.D. s.v. cat, n.1, obs.), cf. Eng. cat's-cradle.

[O.Sc. cat-harrow, in phr. to draw (at or in) the cat-harrow, to draw different ways, to thwart each other; first date 1529 (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Cat Harrow n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/cat_harrow>

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