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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CRUE, Cru, Croo, Kru(e), Kro, n., v. [kru: Sc., but Sh. + krø; krø Ork., L. Strathearn (Wilson)]

1. n.

(1) An enclosure or fold (Ork. c.1920 J. McWilliam W.-L.) for sheep (Sh. 1825 Jam.2, 1866 Edm. Gl., crû, 1908 Jak. (1928), kru, 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1929 Marw., kro, krue; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 148, crue), pigs (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.2, croo), hens (Abd. 1947 (per Abd.27)), or cows. Also in combs. pig croo (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.; 1924 Screed frae Cookstown in North. Whig (Jan.)), and swine-crue (Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) vi.; Ags.17 1941). Also found in Eng. dial. in forms crew(e), croo, etc. (E.D.D.). Cf. Craw, n.4, and Cray, n.1Sh. 1795 J. Sinclair Agric. N. and I. Scot., App. 29:
The proprietors . . . gather their sheep in folds, or what are termed here punds and crues.
Sh. 1938 M. Powell 200,000 Feet on Foula 230:
Dotted about the island in certain strategic spots are sheepfolds called krös.
Ork. 1771 P. Fea MS. Diary (June):
Got the Dyks and crues of Spurness big'd in order to shear the sheep.
Dmf. 1831 R. Shennan Tales, etc. 80:
The cuddochs I saw, A' packed in crues, with their heads to the wa'.

(2) “A small inclosure for raising cabbage plants” (Ork. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 95). Also plantie-kro, id. (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Cf. Crub, n.2 (2).

(3) A hovel (Sc. 1825 Jam.2); “a poor, filthy cabin” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn., croo). Also used attrib.Sc. 1819 When the King comes in Hogg (ed.) Jacobite Relics I. 45:
I may sit in my wee croo house At the rock and the reel to toil fu' dreary.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 61:
Your croo — (can ither name be given To that vile foumart-hole ye live in?).

(4) A wickerwork fish trap. Cf. Croy, n.1, 1, and Cruive, n., 3.Cai. 1701 J. Brand Descr. Orkney, Zetland, etc. 150:
Salmond-Fishing . . . by Crues or Creels with crossed or barred doors, going from one side of the Water to the other, so framed that they suffer the Fishes to go in, but not to go out.
Rnf. 1728 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876–78) I. 138:
To the Miln, Kilns, and other houses and fish Crues at Bellten.

2. v. To shut up in a pen; “to drive sheep into a fold” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), kru). Also found in Chs. dial. (E.D.D.). Also fig.Sh. 1913 G. W. Stout in Old-Lore Misc. VI. iii. 138:
Krüüd atil da henny-hoose . . . da black ane cüdna mov.
Ayr. 1790 J. Fisher Poems 81:
Ilk ane ran as they coud do . . . Into a newk themsels to croo.

[O.Sc. has crue, etc. from 1388, variant of cro, croy, a wicker fish trap, from 1288; a small hut or hovel; a sty, 16th cent. (D.O.S.T.), from Gael. crò, Ir. cró, a sheep cot, pen. Icel. kró, Norw. kru, a cattle-fold (Torp), from which the I.Sc. forms derive, is itself a borrowing from Celtic.]

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"Crue n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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