Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
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.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Gorblin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: