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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).

MUZZLE, v., n. Also Sc. forms mussel; miz(z)le (Mry. 1715 E. D. Dunbar Documents (1895) 21; Ayr. 1789 Burns Elegy on 1788 35; Dmf. 1822 Scots Mag. (March) 360; Ayr.4 1928). [mʌzl, mɪsl. See P.L.D. § 35, 37.]

Sc. usages:

I. n. Of a plough: the bridle or iron loop at the front of the beam to which the draught is attached and which has holes or notches so arranged to regulate the depth or width of the furrow (m.Sc., Uls. 1963). Combs. muckle mizzle, id. (Ayr.4 1928); muzzle-pin, the draught pin which fits into the muzzle. Also fig.; wee muzzle, a simpler version of the bridle consisting of a U-shaped piece of metal (Ayr.4 1928; Arg.1 1937).Dmf. 1752 Dmf. & Gall. N. & Q. (1913) 62:
The making or mending of other materials belonging to agriculture, such as mussels, cutts, and teems.
Sc. 1765 A. Dickson Agric. 201:
The fore part of the muzzle is raised above the beam, and the plough is made to go deeper; or, as the plowmen call it, the plough has more eard.
Ayr. 19th c. Merry Muses (1911) 78:
The muzzle-pin for a' the yirth was in the highest bore.
Lth. 1829 G. Robertson Recollections 129:
There were likewise great improvements made about this time [1770–80] in the muzzle of the plough, by which alone. without altering the set of the culter, either land or earth could, in a mere instant, be given to any extent.
Sc. 1889 H. Stephens Bk. of Farm I. 85:
The bridle or “muzzle ” with the hook, is that part by which the horses are attached to the beam.
Ayr. 1953:
The holes in the muzzle are for adjusting the “thraw ” on the plough, caused by the nature of the soil or the uneven strength of the horses in the team.

II. v. To seize with the mouth.Sc. c.1800 J. Maidment Sc.Ballads (1859) 156:
The cat took Ratty by the crown, the kitten muzzled the wee mouse down.

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"Muzzle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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