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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.

JAB, v., n. Also jaub, jeb. Orig. Sc. but now adopted in Eng. [dʒɑb, dʒǫb, Edb. + dʒɛb]

I. v. To prick sharply (Slk. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Hence fig. phr. to jab up, to silence, “shut up”; adj. jabbie, prickly (Ags. 1947; Bnff., Abd., Ags., Dmf. 2000s). Gsw. 1886 A. G. Murdoch Sc. Readings (Ser. 1) 10:
Shoving into her plate the toughest bits o' girsle he could pick oot o' the dinner stew, so as to effectively “jab up” her clackin' tongue.
Ags. 1933 W. Muir Mrs Ritchie viii.:
Jab a hairpin intill him.

II. n. A prick, the act of pricking (Slk. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc.; a sharp blow. Also used fig. = a cutting remark.Ayr. 1879 J. White Jottings 226:
Oh guid forgie Yer harden'd heart for jaubs at me!
Abd. 1882 G. Macdonald Castle Warlock i.:
“Hoots, wuman!” he said, in altered tone, “dinna ye ken a jape frae a jab?”
Sc. 1951 Edb. Evening News (19 March):
Jist greet the de'il wi' a jeb on the nose . . . When ye rise first thing in the mornin'.

[Variant of Job, id., q.v., and P.L.D. § 54: origin prob. imit. Cf. Dab.]

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"Jab v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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