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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CROUSE, CROUS, CROWSE, CROOS(E), CRUCE, Cruse, Cruise, Krus, adj., n. and v. Also used adv., mainly in phrs. The adv. crousely, croosely, etc. is also found in senses corr. those of 1. 2. and 3. below. In use in n.Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). [krus]

I. adj.

1. Pleased with oneself, cheerful, merry (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., krūs; Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. Ork. Par. (1922) 150, croos; Cai.3 1931; Ayr.3 1910, croose). Gen.Sc. Also in derivs. ¶crousy, crouseness .Sh. 1906 T. P. Ollason Spindrift 64:
Yet here life's vaige we still pursue, Tho' noo less cruse, still hael an' canty.
Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Sketch Bk. 140:
There's no a crooser man an' wife I' the wide world ava'.
Cai. 1829 J. Hay Poems 10:
An' sometimes too a Highlan' gill To mak him crousy.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 58:
In dourest season
o near-tint sun
that crouseness vaunts
oot o shaddas,
oot o snell-wun narra wynds.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 23:
And God! the men! Whaur could ye find Sic hertsome lads, sae crouse and kind?
Ayr. 1792 Burns Duncan Gray, No. 2 (Cent. ed.) v.:
Now they're crouse and canty baith — Ha, ha, the wooing o't!
Wgt. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
croose lively, cheery, merry.
Dmf. 1831 R. Shennan Tales, etc. 38:
There still I saw the lads and lasses, As crouse as ever o'er their glasses.

Phr.: to crack crouse (croose, cruse), to talk in a happy, lively fashion. In the Ross quot. below the meaning verges on that of to craw crouse (see section 2. below).Abd. 1768 A. Ross To the Begging x.:
If nane be in but the goodwife, Then I'll crack wondrous crouse.
Abd. 1916 A. Gibson Under the Cruisie 141:
She scarce can say a single word, that aince could crack sae croose.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 194:
An' sin' the storm has steekt them i' the house They'll happy be — an' crack like us fu cruse.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs ll. 135–136:
The cantie, auld folks, crackan crouse, The young anes rantan thro' the house.

2. Conceited, arrogant, proud (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.17 1941).Sc. 1704 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S. 1937) 275:
Our clans are yet very crouse and bigg in their hopes.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 263:
Nothing so crouse, as a new washen Louse.
Sc. a.1808 Willie Macintosh in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 183B v.:
I lost the best feather i my wing For my crowse crawing.
Abd. 1933 J. Gillespie in Border Mag. (Dec.) 180:
The Highlander, croose in step as a chief of his clan, came up the cobbled close of Clartyford.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ann. Parish xxxv.:
Hearing how their compeers were thriving in France and demolishing every obstacle to their ascendency, they [democrats] were crouse and really insolent.
sm.Sc. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
croose proud, boastful, selfsatisfied.

Phr.: to craw crouse(ly) (croose), lit. to crow proudly, fig. to boast, to talk loudly and confidently (Dmf. 2000s). Known to Cai.7 (croose), Bnff.2, Abd.2, Fif.10, Slg.3, Arg.1 (not native), Lnk.11, Kcb.10 1941.Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf vi.:
To cut the comb of a young cock that has been crawing a little ower crousely.
Bch. 1929 (per Abd.1):
Dinna craw sae croose! — gin A be nae chaetit ye'll cheenge yer lay yet.
Ags. 1822 A. Balfour Farmers' Three Daughters III. 209:
It's no regard for me, or my bairn, that made you craw sae crouse just now — it's a' to feed your ain vanity, in making comparisons between your dochter an' mine!
Bwk. c.1869 A. Steele in Minstrelsy of the Merse (ed. Crockett 1893) 162:
Contented and blithe, and hoo crouse wad I craw, Gin I had a wife wi' a hunner or twa!
Gsw. 1972 Molly Weir Best Foot Forward (1974) 217:
'Don't craw sae crouse,' I could hear Grannie's voice admonish me. 'Don't craw sae crouse.' But it was no good. I had to exult over my good fortune or I would burst!

3. Bold, valiant, courageous, spirited (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., krus; Bnff.2 1941; Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 27, crous).Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace 39:
So cruce they grew, might no Man them withstand, But, as they lik'd, they rul'd o'er all this Land.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 31:
When I, and mony mae that were right crouse, Wad fain about his Lugs have burnt his House.
Ags. 1820 A. Balfour Poems 272:
He stendit now, wi' courage crouse.
Hdg. 1880 A. I. Ritchie Churches of St. Baldred 48:
Ma man, ye were na sae crouse when I had ye by the coat tail in Binning Wood last nicht!
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost viii.:
And they had only the effect of making me button my coat, and look out the crooser to the blast.
Dmf. [1777] J. Mayne Siller Gun (1808) 56:
Crouse as a cock in his ain cavie.

4. Cosy, comfortable (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 1941).Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 35:
Her vyce, a wee thing aff-puit, soondit
as tho she kent she'd be fair-stoondit,
for this was nae croose social caa.
Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 25:
There's no a hoose Whaur ony wife Should be sae croose.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems I. 244:
Thou'rt shelter'd warm and crouse.

5. Sharp-tempered, touchy, “captious, cross” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn., cruse); discontented (Mry.1 1925).Ork.1 1941:
The maitter cam afore the Education Committee an sheu hed tae be less crouse.
Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.):
He was gye an' croose on it when a spoke tae him.

II. n. A cross person (Mry.1 1925, croose).

III. v. With up: to cheer up, to become more cheerful, to "buck up" (Cai. 1972 D. Omand Cai. Book 245).

[O.Sc. crous, crows, c.1450, crouse, 1641, bold, hardy, high-spirited, confident, self-satisfied, jaunty; also used adv.; also crouslie, 1560, in a crouse manner (D.O.S.T.); n.Mid.Eng. crūs, curly, angry, c.1280 (Stratmann), crous, bold, audacious, c.1340 (N.E.D.). Krûs, curled, frizzled, occurs in M.H.Ger. (Kluge) = Mod.Ger. kraus, crisp, sullen, but L.Ger. krûs, gay; luxurious; powerful and rich; haughty, arrogant, comes closer to most of the Sc. senses. For another borrowing from L.Ger. into Sc. in the 13th cent., cf. Croon, v.2]

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"Crouse adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



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