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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.

GOLLAN, n. Also gullan, †goulan. [′gɔlən, Ork. ′gʌl-]

1. The common daisy, Bellis perennis (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 73, Cai.7 1954), the ox-eye and other large daisies (Cai.7). Also white gullan, the corn mayweed, Matricaria inodorata (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork.5 1954), yellow-, the corn marigold, Chrysanthemum segetum (Bwk. 1853 G. Johnston Botany E. Borders 105, -goulan; Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork.5 1954). Also in n.Eng. dial. Cf. Gowan.

2. Ragwort, “a yellow flower common in moist meadows” (Ork. 1887 Jam.), prob. the tansy ragwort, Senecio jacobaea. Also golland (Ib.). Also yellow gollan (Cai.7 1954).

3. The marsh-marigold, Caltha palustris (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.).

4. Fig. “A ridiculous-looking person, unsuitably dressed, a frump” (Cai.9 1939).Cai.7 1954:
Sarcastically: “She's a bonnie gollan!”

5. Extended meaning: a parhelion or mock-sun, gen. indicating the approach of stormy weather (Cai., Rs. 1911 per Mry.2; Cai.9 1939). Cf. Gow, n.3Cai. 1986:
Gollan - a bit of a rainbow in the clouds which denotes broken weather.

[North. Eng. has golland, from 1538, the name applied to various golden-coloured flowers. The form and geographical distribution suggest Scand. origin; O.N. gull, goll, gold, gullin-, golden. The Bwk. form goulan is borrowed directly from n.Eng. dial. The common Sc. form is Gowan, q.v. Cf. also Guil.]

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"Gollan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 May 2024 <>



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