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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GAEFEATHER, n. A curved cut made on a Finnan haddock as a kind of trade mark, see quot.Kcd. 1883 Fish and Fisheries (ed. D. Herbert) 114:
The splitter [of a haddock] then half-turns the fish round . . . and makes a long curved cut, down the bone next the dorsal fin. This cut along the bone is termed the “gae-feather.”

[Gay + feather, from the appearance.]

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"Gaefeather n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/gaefeather>

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