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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

GRUE, n.2, v.2 Also groo, gru, †greu, †grew, †gruse. [gru:]

I. n. Half-liquid snow or ice formed in early spring floating on the surface of a river and commonly thought to have risen from the river bed (ne.Sc., Ags. 1955); a thin coating of newly-formed ice on water (Slk. 1825 Jam., groo, grue, gruse; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Comb.: gr(o)und-gru, id. (Slk. 1825 Jam., grund-). Cf. Goor, n., 3.Ags. 1795 Session Papers, Arbuthnot v. Scott (11 March) 264:
This was occasioned by speats in the river, and by ice and greu in the lead.
Abd. 1835 Philos. Trans. CXXV. i. 330:
They call it ground-gru; gru being the term by which they designate snow saturated with, or swimming in water.
Bwk. 1839 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club I. 185:
An immense quantity of grew, incompact ice, floated down.
Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 242:
The river was not only strong, but speckled with grue.
Rxb. 1920 Kelso Chron. (21 Dec.) 2:
Tweed was mottled with ice floe or “grue.”
Lnk. 1948 J. G. Johnston Fish with me 168:
We arrived at the river to find it a turgid flow of “grue.”
s.Sc. 1952 Scotsman (6 Dec.):
Ice crawled across the river. “Grue” rose from the bottom, and floated down in round patches and mushy rings.

II. v. With up: to choke up (water) with pieces of half-formed ice. cf. Grudge, v.3 and Gourd.Slk. 1825 Jam.:
Water is said to be groo'd up, when it is choked up by ice in a half-congealed state.

[Prob. ad. Gael. gruth, curds, from the resemblance to it of the melting snow.]

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"Grue n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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