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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

GORBLIN, n. Also gorbling (Jam.), gorbleen (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). An unfledged bird (Fif. 1880 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags.18 1955). Applied also to “anything very young and bare” (S.D.D.). Also attrib. [′gɔrblɪn]Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (1877) II. 311:
And gape like gorblins to the sky, With hungry wames and empty pouches.
Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 245:
The burdies . . . wha . . . for their helpless gorblins toil.
Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 74:
Syne in the gown when he is drest, He looks fu' big; Like gorblin sprawlin' on its nest.
Bch. 1861 J. Davidson Poems 119:
An' we gie the gorblins wormies, as mony as they can eat.
Bch. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 23:
Glowerin' in at gorblins Pu'in' puddock steels.

Comb.: gorblin oo', the downy feathers of a young bird, hence any downy growth. Cf. Gorbit.Abd. 1914 Rymour Club Misc. II. 141:
Hey, mither, am I a man; there's hair about my moo? . . . Haud yer tongue, ye feel breet; it's only gorblin oo'!
Sc. 1995 David Purves Hert's Bluid 53:
For fullie a week the gorblin blekkie
wi the mittilt weing cokkit its heid
at our houss door and keikit up
at me wi pit-mirk sheinin een.

[Gorb, q.v. + dim. suff. -lin(g) as in Eng. duckling, etc. Cf. Gorlin.]

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"Gorblin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/gorblin>

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