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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HASH, v., n. Also freq. hashle. Sc. usages:

I. v. 1. To slash, hack, mangle, as with a sharp instrument (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc. Now obs. in this sense in Eng. Also fig. to berate, criticise severely (wm.Sc.1 1956).Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace 182:
Each with his hashing Sword and piercing Spear, Against his Fellow furiously does ride.
Sc. 1745 Origins '45 (S.H.S.) 156:
They hashed him miserably and left him for dead.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Sherramuir ii.:
They hack'd and hash'd, while braid swords clash'd.
Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 86:
Sortin' sairs an' broken banes, Whan hash't an' smash't wi' coals an' stanes.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
Hagging and hashing at Christ's kirk.
Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie xiv.:
Ye get your hand awfu' sair hashed pu'in' the cork oot o' a bottle o' beer.
Sc. 1917 D. G. Mitchell Clachan Kirk 71:
I am wae to leave the hash't an' hapless cretur.

2. To slice, cut up, chop, e.g. turnips, for fodder; hence to munch, to masticate, “to eat like a dog” (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. X. 197, hashle; I., n. and em.Sc.(a), m.Lth., Kcb., Uls. 1956). Comb. †hash gulle, a chopping knife. See Gullie.Bnff. 1706 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 2) II. 75:
Item . . . a brander, ane iron ladle, a frying pan, ane hash gulle.
Abd. 1909 J. Tennant Jeannie Jaffray 11:
Thae Presbyterians, like Cant, dinna approve o' the wee baken bites at communion, bit hash doon big loaves into sheeves.
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 31:
I hash the neeps an' full the skull, an' bin' the lowin' nowt.
Abd. 1920 G. P. Dunbar Peat-Reek 31:
An' gweed swede neeps, ye'd sune be hashin' Wi' willin' gums.

3. To spoil, waste, wreck, destroy, deface (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also fig. Ppl.adj. hashin, wasteful.Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (1925) 39:
O' simmer's showery blinks and winters sour, Whase floods did erst their mailins produce hash.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 75:
He's a hashin' servan': he blaads mair nor he's worth.
Mearns 1894 J. Kerr Reminisc. III. 51:
Soon they'll hash, an' breakdown, an' destroy, an' devour What micht serve them a fortnicht.
Hdg. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 276:
Their “bonny bank o' sand,” — was “hash'd!” Some ane, a hunner yairds, or mair, Had “walkit doun't an' spoilt it sair!”
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xxxvi.:
He hashed and haggled at the books; he forged Paul's name.
Fif. 1954 Fife Herald (22 Sept.) 2:
They've been gey sair hashed aboot wi' the weather this summer; even the chrysanthemums.
m.Sc. 1996 John Murray Aspen 14:
atween Glengaber an Cramalt
hashit names o fergotten fowk
the goat glen an the cruikit burn
ma bairnlike gaelic
blethers doun ma lug.

4. tr. To fatigue, overdrive (a person), to harass, oppress with work; refl. to overtire (oneself) (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc. In pass. = to be pressed, harassed (ne.Sc. 1956).Lnk. 1827 J. Watt Poems 11:
O how unfeelin' wretches will Poor brutes torment, an' hash, an' kill!
Sc. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Evid. II. 1147:
Do you seriously say that the crofters allowed their sheep to be hashed by the tacksman?
Fif. 1896 D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 275:
“Now don't be going for to hash me, Jock,” she cries.
ne.Sc. 1909 G. Greig Folk-Song iv. 1:
A hurb to hack, and hash the loons.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 21:
It's a hashin' thing the flu' And your throat's just like a rag.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 164:
“It's been a gey hashin' day for iz at the herst; A'm muittit oot an' fair platchin'.” “Dinna hash eersels.”
Arg.1 1937:
A hashan farmer is one who works very hard himself and gets the name of overworking his servants.
Abd. 1946 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 340:
She wis just aye owre hashed tae speir fit wye they war greetin'.

5. To talk volubly, emptily or illogically (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; s.Sc. 1956).Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 10:
Yince an thon wumman sterts, she hashes an blethers for a guid everlesteen.

Phr.: to hash and fash at, to keep referring to, to harp on at, make a great fuss about.Arg. 1947 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 192:
The next day he was hashing and fashing away at it.

6. To move or work in a muddling, flurried, bustling manner (Abd.13 1910; ne.Sc., Ags., Ayr., Kcb. 1956).Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 99:
Hashin', splashin', white or gray, O'er the dam-head.
Kcd. 1934 L. G. Gibbon Grey Granite 261:
Mr Piddle came hashing in sight, head thrust out like a cobra homing like hell to the jungle with a mongoose close in his tail.

II. n. 1. Used as in colloq. Eng. = a mess, muddle, medley of fragments; also confusion, disorder (ne. Sc., Ags., Ayr. 1956).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 74:
Difficulty in money matters; as, “He's a' till a hash.” “His maitters are a' in a hash.”
Abd. 1900 J. Milne Poems 23:
The sweetie stans war dung to hash.
Hdg. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 83:
Fill'd fou' o' Edinboro' pride an' cheek, Till she's become a hash o' uselessness.
Fif. 1936 St Andrews Citizen (26 Dec.) 2:
It was up to [the Burgh Surveyor] to make good all these “terrible hashes” that had been made [in the town's footways].

2. An agglomeration, a large quantity (Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 29; Ayr.4 1928); a crowd (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), hence specif. the complement of hands on a large farm (Mry.1, Bnff.11, Rxb.2 1919; ‡ne.Sc. 1956.). Phr. ‡to lead the hash, to be foreman on a farm employing several hands (Abd. 1954), in this sense phs. also associated with 4.Sc. 1828 Scott Journal (1891) II. 179:
That immense hash of a city [London].
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 204:
He [Pope] was a wee body, but the creature had a wonnerfu' hash o' brains.
Ib. 275:
It's naething but a hash o' stanes frae the root to the rigging.
Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 87:
We gave them such a volley this time that they did not come to close quarters. A great hash o' them fell, and the rest galloped off.
Ags. 1918 V. Jacob More Songs 17:
Gin there's a hash o' Gairmans pitten oot By aichts an' tens.
Abd. 1950 Banffshire Jnl. (11 July):
The farmer himself led the hash with the scythe.

3. A row, uproar, brawl (Ags. 1956).Abd. 1813 W. Beattie Tales 19:
And ye began wi' sic a hash, And fear'd my bairn.
Per. p.1851 Harp of Per. (Ford 1893) 346:
You'll see a hash ere a' be dune, Wi' Boords creatin'.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 74:
Thir's an unco hash amo' the freens aboot the aul' bodie's siller.

4. A rush or excessive pressure of work; work done in a hasty, careless manner or at top speed (Ork., n.Sc., Ags., m.Lth., Arg., Ayr., Kcb. 1956), with consequent waste and damage (Sc. 1880 Jam.) or fatigue (Rxb. 1942 Zai).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 74:
There's an awfu' hash aboot that fairm-toon: ilky bodie haiks through a' thing.
Kcd. 1894 J. Kerr Reminisc. III. 51:
Wi' our hashes an' hurry o' wark, ye may see, We can never get time a bit redd up to gie.
Abd.15 1924:
“A gey hash,” sarcastically, “an ae-coo craft!”
Mry. 1956 Bulletin (18 Dec.) 9:
But for all the difficulty and hash of the wintry work we are not without our consolations.

Comb.: hash-howin, the second hoeing of turnips some weeks after they have been thinned (Arg.1 1937).

5. Ribald talk, nonsense (Lth. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1956).em.Sc. 1901 H. Hendry Burns from Heaven 13:
The teary-weary cantin' hash Is nocht but haivers.

6. A strong wind, esp. one accompanied by rain (Sh., Fif. Knr. 1956); a gush of water (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.) Cf. Hush, n.1Sh. 1898 Shetland News (22 Oct.):
Güd keep a' frae a hash o' weet i' da tatties.
Lth. 1924 A. Dodds Poppies in Corn 9:
But when the roads were sliddy, or cam' a sleety hash, She was tiddet in the stable and supper't on a mash.
Rs. 1951 per Abd.27:
A 'ash o win = a blast, a strong breeze.
Fif. 1951 P. Smith The Herrin' 34:
Roon the Girdleness Pint wi' a southerly hash, Me in the forehould wi' my dishes tae wash.

7. A contemptuous term for one who is stupid, impudent, slovenly, clumsy, dissolute in speech or action (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 74; Lth., Cld. 1880 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Uls.3 1929; Kcd., em.Sc.(a), m.Lth., Dmf. 1956).Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 39:
O Heavens! I canna thole the Clash Of this impertinent auld Hash.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Sc. Drink xv.:
Fell source o' monie a pain an' brash! Twins monie a poor, doylt, druken hash O' half his days.
Kcb. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun 66:
Ye good-for-naething Souter hash, Tho' muisted is your carrot pash.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxviii.:
What was I wanting to say . . . to his honour himsell . . . ye muckle hash?
Slk. 1818 Hogg Tales (1874) 232:
I wonder gin the bloody hash will persist in killing me now.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 214:
Time . . . leaveth nocht to modern hashes But idle tales and empty clashes.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 182:
Ye muckle, careless, thoughtless, thriftless hash, To spend yer siller ona siccan trash.
Kcd. 1857 Stonehaven Jnl. (21 May) 4:
And yet for a' the spates he took, A torn-down hash he didna look.
Sc. 1882 Stevenson Letters to Fanny (1899) 253:
Our servant is a Muckle Hash of a Weedy.
Lnk. 1912 Rymour Club Misc. II. 149:
Ye'll ken the muckle slorkin' hashes Jist by their glowre.
Bwk. 1943 W. L. Ferguson Vignettes 70:
That muckle hash, he's left the rake Oot i' the weet, the donnart cratur!

8. Grain dried in a kiln and then chopped (Cai., Abd., Arg., Lnk., Kcb. 1956).

9. The inside of a cow (Sh. 1913 J. M. Hutcheson W.-L., ‡Sh. 1956).

III. Phrs. and Combs.: 1. hash-a-banna, n., a sloven, a greedy lout (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); 2. †hash-a-pie, n., id., “one who pays more attention to his belly than to his work . . . from the good use he would make of his knife and fork in cutting up a pie” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.); 3. hash-mash, adv., in slap-dash fashion. Cf. 5.; 4. hash methram, adv., in a state of disorder (Sc. 1808 Jam.); 5. hash-smash, struggle, confusion, as of sword-fighters. Cf. 3.; 6. to come hash down upon, to descend on with a hacking stroke.3. Lnk. 1827 J. Watt Poems 65:
I've done war deeds than dash your heads Hash-mash against the hallen.
5. Slg. 1825 W. Hone Every-day Book II. 20:
They close in a sword fight and in the “hash smash” the chief is victorious.
6. Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 170:
They had a sort of hook for cutting, . . . and took the corn by the head with one hand, and came hash, hash down upon it with the other.

[O.Sc. has(c)h, from 1590, to cut in small pieces, Fr. hacher, id.]

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"Hash v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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