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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCASH, v., adj., adv., n. Also scush. Derivs. scashie, skashie; in senses 2. and 3. scashle, -il, skashle, -il, scushel; scachil.

I. v. ‡1. To quarrel, squabble, have a heated argument or disagreement (Abd. 1969).Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1813) 19:
But fan anes folk begin to scash, I'm fear'd for harm.
Abd. 1898 Weekly Free Press (15 Sept.):
Aboot the pay we needna scashie.

2. To twist, turn to one side, esp. in regard to one's feet or gait, to walk in a shuffling awkward manner with the toes turned outwards, either from deformity or affectation (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 148, scash, scashle; ne.Sc. 1969). Vbl.n. scashilin, shuffling (Ib.), scashilt, of the feet: turned outwards in walking, splay.Gregor:
The bairn's feet are beginnin' t' scash. The mannie geed scashlin' up the lane.
Ags. 1897 Arbroath Guide (17 July) 3:
There was a scachilin' o' feet on the pavement.
Bnff.6 1939:
That horse's forefeet are awfa scashilt.

3. To be slovenly in dress, wear one's clothes in a careless manner (n.Sc. 1825 Jam., scashle; Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) S. 21; Bnff. 1882 Jam., scash).

4. To beat, batter, crush, press roughly or carelessly (Cld. 1882 Jam.).

II. adj. Twisted, turned to one side, esp. of the feet. Combs. scash-fittit, splay-footed (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 148; Abd., Kcd. 1969), scash-mouth'd, moo'd, -moot, having the mouth or lips twisted sideways (Ib.).Bnff. 1882 Jam.:
A scash fit, a foot with the toes turned outwards.
Ayr. 1927 J. Carruthers A Man Beset i. ii.:
The scash-moo'd Mr Patterson.

III. adv. In a twisted manner, awry, with a waddling, shuffling gait (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 148, scash(le)).

IV. n. 1. A quarrel, dispute, brawl.Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 197:
Since Mrs. Henny's scash wi the young Laird.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 23:
Thae country scashles did but little guid.
Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 78:
Hilly an' him hed bits o' skashels fyles.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 102:
My man an' me had hard wirds An' . . . the scashle cam' to dirds.

2. A twist, turning to one side, wrench, a distorted posture, esp. of the feet; a waddling shuffling gait, a scuffling with the feet, of both the action and the sound (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 148, scash(le)).Ib.:
He ga's fit a scash, an' caed himsel' oot o' the queet.

3. An untidy or slovenly piece of dress; an untidy person, a sloven (Cai. 1934).Ags. 1895 Arbroath Guide (27 April) 3:
I'm affronted to be seen thiroot wi' that auld scashel o' a thing on my heid.
Ags. 1903 Arbroath Guide (24 Jan.) 3:
That auld scush o' a lum hat.

[Orig. rather obscure. It is uncertain whether all the meanings belong to the same word, and the semantic development is not clear. For v., 4. cf. Eng. squash, O.Fr. escacher, to beat, batter, which may possibly have given the more specialised notion of “to knock out of shape or off the straight”. But the word may be in large part simply onomat. of a shuffling movement or sound. Cf. Scush.]

Scash v., adj., adv., n.

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"Scash v., adj., adv., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2024 <>



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