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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MASK, v.1, n.1

I. v. 1. tr. To make wort for ale by mixing malt with hot water, to brew (Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. Gl.; Ork. 1962); intr. to form wort. Vbl.n. maskin, a brewing, as much ale as is brewed at one time; ppl.adj. maskit, brewed.Sc. 1741 Caled. Mercury (9 Nov.):
All necessary Utensils for Brewing, viz. a Copper, Fat, Tun masking 4 Bolls, with Cooler, and a Malt-mill, all in good Repair.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 14:
Five pecks o' maut masket in the meikle kirn.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality x.:
“Have they plenty of ale?” “Sax gallons, as gude as e'er was masked”.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals iii.:
There is no meeting now in the summer evenings, as I remember often happened in my younger days, with decent ladies coming home with red faces, tozy and cosh from a posset masking.
Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 174:
Let's laugh and sing while we are gleg But still detest the masked dreg.
Abd. 1873 P. Buchan Inglismill 30:
But there's the kirn to ca', chessels to fill, An' steep a maskin' for the New Year's Yill.
Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. 103:
After “masking” for two hours the wort was drawn off.

Combs.: (1) masking fat(t), a large tub for steeping malt. See Fat; (2) maskin kirn, a churn for this purpose (Ork.51962); (3) masking loom, = (1). See Lume; (4) masking pot, -pat, a large pot used for brewing; (5) maskin rung, a stick used to break up the malt when steeping; (6) masken shield, a shovel for stirring and turning malt. See Shuil; (7) masking vat, = (1).(1) Ags. 1712 A. Jervise Land of Lindsays (1853) 342:
Two guill fatts, a masking fatt.
Edb. 1726 Edb. Ev. Courant (18–25 Jan.):
A Brewary and Brewing Looms, consisting of . . . a big Masking Fat, Wort-stone, Cooler, little Tun and Pump.
Sc. 1822 Scott Pirate xxiv.:
She found him drowned in his own masking-fat.
Ayr. 1824 A. Crawford Tales Grandmother (1825) I. 218:
The very hour I saw Maggy Osburn an' her servant lass carrying the masking-fat frae the Friar's well.
(3) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.H.S.) I. 13:
Some said it was the Pith of Broom That she stow'd in her Masking-loom, Which in our Heads rais'd sic a Foom.
(4) Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 50:
Wou'd he her maskin-pat make free Frae yon excise, That she might taste the barley brie.
(5) Mry. 1810 J. Cock Simple Strains 136:
Aul' Kate brought ben the maskin rung.
(6) Mry. 1708 E. D. Dunbar Social Life (1865) 212:
A lead and fatt and taptree and masken shield.
(7) Rs. 1751 W. MacGill Old Ross-shire (1909) I. 139:
Aquavitae stell, 2 masking vats.

2. tr. To make or infuse (tea) (Sc. 1799 H. Mitchell Scotticisms 54; Uls. 1931 North. Whig (27 Nov.)); intr. of the tea: to brew. Gen.Sc. Vbl.n. maskin, an infusion of tea, a potful (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Sh., Cld. 1880 Jam.); the quantity of tea leaves required for this.Sc. 1800 A. Carlyle Autobiog. (1860) 151:
My mother's custom was to mask the tea before morning prayer.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xlii.:
But I hope your honours will tak tea before ye gang to the palace, and I maun gang and mask it for you.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 133:
As they had the bit blink on their han' a'tween the masking an' out-pouring.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller iv.:
Each carry off with pleasure her “weel masked cup o' tea”.
Kcb. 1883 J. Morrison Miss McGraw 44:
Tak' a cup o' tea, Jessie . . . it's been maskin' this twenty minutes so it should be guid noo.
Sh. 1906 T. P. Ollason Spindrift 127:
“Haest dee, lass”, he said, “an' mask me a air o' tae as whick as doo can”.
Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 92:
I'm positively dyin' for a cup o' manse-masket tea.
Sc. 1927 Scots Mag. (July) 242:
Can ye gie me a maskin' o' tea, Mrs Paterson?
Bnff. 1954 Banffshire Jnl. (29 June):
An' syne wid pit on the kettle an' mask a cuppie o' her speecial tay in a broon tracky o' a pot.

Combs.: (1) maskin joug, a tea-pot (Bnff. 1962); (2) maskin pat, -pot, ¶mashkin-, id. (Sc. 1818 Sawers; Ayr. 1962).(1) Abd. 1930 Tinker's Rhyme:
Will ye no buy a brander, a strander, a nine-pint pail or a maskin joug or a horn spin for the wean today, guidwife?
(2) Ayr. 1786 Burns When Guildford good i.:
Then up they gat the maskin-pat.
Ags. 1880 J. E. Watt Poet. Sk. 23:
An' ae big gawkit gammereerie The stroup dang frae the maskin'-pat.
Lnk. 1920 G. A. H. Douglas Further Adventures Rab Hewison 74:
Put on the masking-pat and gi'e us a cup o' guid tea.
Ags. 1956 Forfar Dispatch (15 Nov.):
Her grannie and mither wiz wint tae hod their mashkin-pats fin onybody cam tee door, so naebody wud see hoo extravagant they wir.

3. To prepare a drink other than ale or tea; intr. of the drink: to mature, come to full strength.Sc. 1840 G. Webster Ingliston xxviii.:
The mistress maskit a penny-worth o' Epsom sauts.
Ags.19 1962:
Fin that brandy's maskit in my wime, I'll shune lat her see fa's day ee washin-hoose it is.

4. Fig. in regard to a storm, disease etc.: to threaten, to brew up, to sicken for.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 112:
It's maskin', or maskin' up for anither shoor.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 116:
I could see that he was maskin' for the pocks.
Abd. 1900 J. Milne Poems 43:
The whislin' key hole o the door Fou plainly tells a storm is maskin'.

II. n. †1. Mash, the mixture of malt and water in the process of brewing. Now only in combs.: mask-fatt, mask pot, the tub or vessel containing the mash; mask rudder, the stick for stirring and breaking up the steeping malt.Sc. 1702 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 305:
To Jamie Gray for to buy a mask rudder 16sh. a tap tree 6sh., a wort dish 7sh.
Ayr. 1706 Arch. & Hist. Coll. Ayr. & Wgt. IV. 214:
For delyvering to him ane Mask Fatt.
Dmb. 1708 Session Papers, Petition J. Buchanan (19 Feb. 1765) 22:
Three masks of malt in the Defunct's kiln.
Gsw. 1713 Records Trades Ho. (Lumsden 1934) 2:
Received for ane old mask pott that was for the use of the privat brewers of the Corner house and sold by the Compter. . £3.

2. A mash of this or other ingredients for a horse's feed.Sc. 1703 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 319:
March 27: for 2 peck of malt to be a mask to the 2 ryding horses . . . £0. 4. 0.

3. An infusion of tea, a potful (Sh., Ags. 1962).m.Sc. 1926 O. Douglas Proper Place xvi.:
Naebody ever brocht me things afore, no' as muckle as a mask o' tea.

4. A quantity, an amount, a lot (Abd.4 1931).Ags. 1889 Barrie Tillyloss Scandal 76:
A mask of folk came round me to hear how ye had broke out.
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums xiv.:
I wouldna say 'at it was partikler grand, but there was a great mask o' things in't.

[North. Eng. and Sc. form of Eng. mash, due to Scand. influence. O.Sc. masc fat, 1263, masking fat, a.1400, mask, a mash, 1508.]

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"Mask v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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