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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GLOAMIN, n. Also gloaming, †glomin(g), †glomen. [′glo:mən]

1. Evening twilight, dusk. Since 19th c. adopted from Sc. into liter. Eng. Also used fig. and attrib. Rarely in pl.Rnf. 1707 W. Hector Judicial Records (1876) 202:
The said Mary Campbell . . . did come into the said George Paton his fathers house in the glomen or tualight.
Edb. 1772 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 19:
At glomin now the bagpipe's dumb, Whan weary owsen hameward come.
Ayr. 1786 Burns To J. Simpson xiv.:
When ance life's day draws near the gloamin, Then fareweel vacant, careless roamin.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 90:
An' now, the glomin comin on The lasses turned skiegh, man.
Slk. 1813 Hogg Queen's Wake (1874) 32:
Late, late in a gloamin when all was still, When the fringe was red on the westlin hill.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley iii.:
They durst na on ony errand whatsoever gang ower the door-stane after gloaming.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxv.:
Maister Tawse an' ane or twa o's jist tyeuk a stap doon the howe i' the gloamin.
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 185:
Gloamin' haps the greenwood glen, An' a' is hush'd an' still.
Sc. 1928 J. Wilson Hamespun 38:
Sae noo he doesna grudge my dole — Life's gloamin' meal.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 104:
as the gloamin settled,
gart me speir whit roosed him sae,
but I cuidna jalouse it,
m.Sc. 1991 Tom Scott in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 42:
For she, nae less at gloamin nor at greikin
Reivan murderess, sic wounds hes given.
Edb. 1992 Helen Crummy Let the People Sing! 20:
There we leave the tourists behind and in the gloaming approach Craigmillar - our home in this city.
Lnk. 1998 Duncan Glen Selected New Poems 38:
There atween the trees,
atween the tears, atween fowre russet leaves
and a wally dug
three herrins on a plate near to a
bowl this gloamin time in autumn.

Hence adv. gloamins, at dusk.Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 4:
First your twa dogs, an unco tale, . . . To please me ance did never fail, At night or gloamins.

2. Morning twilight, “daybreak” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), glomin; Wgt., Uls. 1954). Rare.Sc. 1894 Crockett Raiders i.:
I rowed home in the gloaming of the morning.

3. Half-light, dusky shade (Abd.27 1954).Lnk. 1832 W. Motherwell Poems 38:
And in the gloamin o' the wood, The throssil whusslit sweet.

4. Combs. (mostly attrib. uses of the n.): †(1) gloamin-fa', = 1. above; †(2) gloamin grey, id. See Gray, n.1, 1.; (3) gloamin hour ('oor), id. (Ags., m.Lth. 1954); †(4) gloamin-shot, “a twilight interval which workmen within doors take before using lights” (Sc. 1825 Jam.); a short time of relaxation in the evening; in the 1793 quot. used punningly; ¶(5) gloaming sight, a dim or vague perception; (6) gloamin(g) star, the evening star, Venus (Lth. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., rare); †(7) gloamin-tide, 1. (1); (8) glo(a)min time, idem (Abd.27 1954).(1) Dmf. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (Jan.) 401:
A cannie hour at gloaming-fa' under the hazel birks.
ne.Sc. 1836 J. Grant Tales 264:
When the balm o' the blessed gloamin'-fa' Was on ilka leaf an' flower.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller 256:
How eerie to the lonely heart The eerie hour o' gloamin-fa'.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 18:
The gloamin-fa' noo 'gan to seek Saftly oot ower the watter's cheek.
(2) Fif. 1806 A. Douglas Poems 28:
Singin' frae the dawn o' mornin', Till it's near the gloamin grey.
s.Sc. 1859 J. Watson Bards of Border 37:
When we meet at gloamin' gray 'neath the auld aik-tree.
Mry. 1865 W. H. L. Tester Poems 121:
O! merry may, at gloamin grey, Their lauch ring through the shaw yet.
Kcb. 1890 A. J. Armstrong Musings 48:
Syne last we met, at gloamin' grey, Aneath the bonnie trysting tree.
(3) Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 62:
Just, as the gloamin' hour sets in.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 56:
But up in that gloamin' hour, On the heather and thymy sod, . . . I made my peace wi' God.
Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 44:
Fin the lang day's darg's pitten a' bi-han, An' it's gloamin 'oor i' the glen.
(4) Ayr. 1793 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 580:
I once more roved out yesterevening for a gloamin-shot at the muses.
Ayr. 1796 Burns Had I the Wyte iv.:
At gloamin-shot, it was, I wot, I lighted — on the Monday.
Sc. 1820 Farmer's Mag. (Feb.) 22:
They [weavers] used to take ‘a gloaming shot,' that is, a saunter, before they lighted their candles.
Dmf. 1832 Carlyle Letters (Norton) II. 46:
I must now out for my gloaming-shot on the Glaister's Hill side.
(5) Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxi.:
He's no a'together sae void o' sense neither; he has a gloaming sight o' what's reasonable . . . a glisk and nae mair.
(6) Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 276:
It's an hour yet frae the gloamin starn.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 313:
The gloamin' star's o'er Whitop Hill.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 146:
I meet her 'neath the gloamin' star, When daily toil is o'er.
Lth. 1914 C. P. Slater Marget Pow comes Home xvi.:
The walk along the shore was peacefu' and pleasant, with the gloamin'-star shinin' in the West.
(7) Bwk. 1879 W. Chisholm Poems 39:
There would I list, at shadowy gloaming tide.
Dmf. 1894 R. Reid Poems 244:
I'll never set fit i' thy boun's again, At dawin' or gloamin-tide.
(8) Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax 5:
Which ay were done at glomin time, Or dead hour o' the night.
Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 37:
His wife, a frugal, carefu', cleanly body, Had ay at gloamin time his dinner ready.

[O.Sc. has glo(a)ming, glowming, etc. from c.1420; O.E. glōmung, twilight, the phonetic development of the vowel being explained by the shortening in the comb. æfen-glommung.]

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"Gloamin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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