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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SEA, n. Also †sie (Sc. 1827 False Knight in Child Ballads No. 3. A.8), sei (Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 386), sey, siy (Dmf. 1827 Letters T. Carlyle to his Brother (Marrs 1968) 247). Sc. forms and usages. [si:, Mry. Firth, s.Sc. ‡səi]

Sc. Combs.: †1. sea baillie, in Queensferry: a magistrate and member of the Town Council who had jurisdiction in cases affecting seamen and maritime matters; †2. sea-biddie(s), a taboo-name for the large oatcakes or bread taken by fishermen to eat at the haaf-fishing (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., Sh. 1962). See Biddi(e); 3. sea-bite, a piece of bread or the like taken to warm onseself up after sea-bathing (Gall. 1969). See Chitterin' bit; †4. sea-box, (1) a mariners' friendly society, so called from the box or chest in which the funds were kept. See Box, n.1; (2) the provisions locker in a fishing-boat (Sh. 1969); 5. sea-brack, a squall coming in from the sea. See Brak, n., 4. Also in n.Eng. dial.; 6. sea-brae, pasture-ground sloping down to the sea; 7. sea-bree, spume, spray from waves; 8. sea-breed, in quot. = sea-food, the food of fish. See Breid, n. Also = 2. (Sh., Ork. 1969); 9. sea-breeks, a fisherman's waterproof or canvas trousers (Sh. 1969); 10. sea-caff, the zoophyte, Flustra foliacea. See Caff; 11. sea-can(d)les, sea-phosphorescence (Abd. 1885 Folk-Lore Jnl. III. 306; Nai. 1904 E.D.D.); 12. sea-car(r), an embankment or bulwark against the sea, a sea-wall (Lnk. 1825 Jam.). Also as a v., to build an embankment against the sea, a river, etc. (Ib.). For the second element cf. O. North., n.Eng. dial. carr, a rock, phs. ultimately of Celtic orig.; 13. sea-cat, the wolf-fish, Anarrichas lupus (Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife 51; Lth. 1811 Wernerian Soc. Mem. I. 527; Ags. 1813 J. Headrick Agric. Ags. App. B. 41). Also in Eng. dial. applied to other species; 14. sea-cheep, the meadow-pipit, Anthus pratensis (Ayr. 1929 Paton and Pike Birds Ayr. 37), also the rock pipit, Anthus spinoletta (Ib. 39); 15. sea-cleg, the shipworm, Teredo (Bnff. 1969). See Cleg, n.1; 16. sea-cock, the puffin, Fratercula arctica (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.), -cockie (Cai. 1969); 17. sea-cradle, the cowry shell, Cypraea europaea, so called from its shape; 18. sea-crow, -craa, sea craw, (1) the hooded crow, Corvus cornix (Bwk. 1874 Hist. Bwk. Nat. Club VII. 304); (2) the razorbill, Alca torda (I.Sc. 1837 R. Dunn Ornithol. Guide 104; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Ork. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 217; Sh. 1969); (3) the cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo (Lth. 1969); 19. sea-crowl, the edible crab, Cancer pagurus (Fif. 1969). See Crowl, v.1; 20. sea-cubbie, a woven straw fish-basket (Ork. 1904 E.D.D., Ork. 1969); 21. sea-daa, the dog-fish, Acanthias vulgaris (Cai. 1969). See Daa; 22. sea-daisy, the thrift or sea-pink, Armeria maritima (Ags. 1848 W. Gardiner Flora Frf. 153; Abd. 1870 W. Buchanan Olden Days 94; Ork. 1969). Also in Eng. dial.; 23. sea-deuk, the eider duck, Somateria mollissima (Abd., Ags. 1969). Also in Eng. dial.; 24. sea-dog, -doug, (1) the dog fish, Acanthias vulgaris (Abd. 1878 Trans. Nat. Hist. Soc. Abd. 93; Cai. 1887 Harvie-Brown and Buckley Fauna Cai. 254; e.Sc. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.); (2) a meteor seen at sea thought to prognosticate bad weather (Sc. 1825 Jam.). See Dog, n., 2. (2); 25. sea-dollies, the roseroot stonecrop, Sedum rhodiola (Bnff. 1918 Trans. Bnff. Field Club 33), common on sea-cliffs; 26. sea-doo, -dovie, the black guillemot, Uria grylle (Ags. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 218, -dovie; Arg.1 1931). Cf. Dovekie; 27. sea drite, the cuttle-fish, Sepia (Kcd. 1911). See Drite; 28. sea fallen stars, the jellyfish, Medusa (Sc. 1808 Jam.). See Fa, v., 9. (5) (b); 29. sea-ferdy, -fierdy, seaworthy, of a boat (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Ork. 1929 Marw. s.v. fierdy), or person (Sh. 1969); 30. sea-fike, see 35.; 31. sea-fin(d)[fɪn(d)], any object found washed up from the sea, flotsam (Bwk. 1952); 32. sea-fire, sea phosphorescence (Abd. 1885 Folk-Lore Jnl. III. 53). Cf. Kertin Mary and Mareel; 33. sea-flech, ¶-flaecgh, a sand-flea (Sh., Kcd., Ags. 1969). See Flech; 34. sea-futrat, the cuttle-fish, Sepia officinalis (Abd. 1911). See Futrat; 35. sea fyke, -fike, a powder made by crushing the dried egg-capsules of the whelk Buccinum undatum, which causes great irritation of the skin, wrongly thought to be of plant origin (Lth. 1825 Jam.). See Fyke, n., 6.; 36. sea-gled, ? the osprey or sea-eagle. See Gled, n.1; 37. sea-goo, a sea-gull (Abd. 1969). See Goo' n.2; 38. sea-gooseberry, the jellyfish, Cydippe; 39. sea-grape, the seaweed badderlocks, Alaria esculenta (Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 264; Fif. 1969); 40. sea-green, land which has been partly reclaimed from the sea but continues to be overflowed by spring tides (Sc. 1773 Erskine Institute ii. vi. § 17); 41. sea-growth, a general name among fishermen for the various marine zooids, hydroids, polyzoa, etc., which attach themselves to small stones, sea-shells and the like (Sc. 1825 Jam.); 42. sea-guse, only in pl. sea-geese, barnacles, Lepas anatifera (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1969). See Claik Goose; 43. sea-gust, salt spume driven by wind on to the land (I.Sc. 1969). See Gust, n.2; 44. sea-haar, a sea-fog (e.Sc. 1969). See Haar; 45. sea-hack, a temporary thaw during frost caused by warmer air coming from the sea during the rising tide (s.Sc. 1904 E.D.D.); 46. sea-hen, the common guillemot, Uria aalge (e.Lth. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 218; Bwk. 1902 A. Thomson Lauder 289); the starfish (Cai. 1921 T.S.D.C., Cai. 1969); 47. sea-hip, ? the burnet rose, Rosa spinosissima, common near coasts; 48. sea-lark, (1) the dunlin, Erolia alpina (Slg. 1885 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. Soc. 63; Per. 1904 E.D.D., Per. 1969); (2) the ringed plover, Charadrius hiaticula (Bnff. 1876 S. Smiles Sc. Naturalist 408); 49. sea lintie, the rock pipit, Anthus spinoletta (e.Lth. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 46; Ayr. 1909 Science Gossip (Aug.) 227, Ayr. 1969); 50. sea loch, An arm of the sea, esp. if fjord-shaped; 51. sea-loose, see quot.; 52. sea-magpie, = 64. (Inv. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIII. 382); 53. sea-maw, -myaw, a sea-gull, sea-mew. Gen. (exc. I.) Sc. See also Maw, n.2. Phr. sea-maw's egg, a sea urchin, Echinus (Arg. 1936 L. McInnes S. Kintyre 9); 54. sea-meath, a landmark used by fishermen at sea (Sh. 1969). See Meith, n., 3.; 55. sea-moullit, ? some sea-bird. The word may be a pure invention; 56. sea-mouse, the dunlin, Tringa alpina (Dmf. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 194). Also in n.Eng. dial.; 57. sea-oof, see 91.; 58. sea-pa(a)p, gen. in pl., a sea-anemone (Mry., Fif., Bwk. 1969). See Pap, n.1, 7.; 59. sea-partridge, a wrasse, given variously as Centrolabrus exoletus or Ctenolabrus rupestris (Mry. 1852 Zoologist X. 3461, 1930 Fishery Board Gl.); 60. sea-peek, = 48. (1) (Ags. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 194). See Peek, v., 1; 61. sea-pellock, a porpoise (Kcb. 1969). See Pellock; 62. sea-piner, see Pine, v.1, 4. (3); 63. sea-poacher, the pogge, Agonus cataphractus (Lth. 1808 Mem. Wernerian Soc. I. 534). See Poach, n.2; 64. sea-pyot, -pyet, -piot, the oyster-catcher, Haematopus ostralegus (Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife (1803) 107; Dmb. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVII. 251; Slg. 1885 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. Soc. 63; ne., em.Sc. (a), wm.Sc., Gall. 1969). See Pyot and cf. Eng. sea-pie, id.; 65. sea-quhaup, see 89.; 66. sea-ribbons, the jellyfish, Medusa capillata (Abd. 1815 J. Arbuthnot Fishes 60); 67. sea-sale, export by sea, goods to be shipped. Applied to coal in Nhb. dial.; 68. sea-sentry, centaury, Erythraea littoralis, freq. found by the sea-shore (Mry. 1969); 69. seaside in phr. seaside jam, caraway seeds when sprinkled on bread and butter (Ayr. c.1890 Abd. Univ. Review XXVII. 256); 70. sea-sleach, -sle(i)tch, mud or silt formed by the action of a tidal river or estuary. See sleech s.v. Sleek, n.2; †71. sea-sleeve. the cuttlefish, Sepia (Abd. 1815 J. Arbuthnot Fishes 57); 72. sea-soo, the small-mouthed wrasse, Ctenolabrus exoletus (Bwk. 1838 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club I. vi. 172; ne.Sc., Ayr. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.; Kcd. 1969). For pl. see 77.; 73. sea-souter, the cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo (Abd. 1911); 74. sea-spenster, a sea-spectre, a formation of Stevenson's ad. Ger. gespenst, a ghost; 75. sea-spire, spray from waves (Rnf. 1825 Jam.); 76. sea-stanger, the red gurnard, Trigla cuculus (Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fif. (1803) 127, misprinted as -stranger). See Stanger; 77. sea swine, (1) the porpoise, Phocaena phocaena. Obs. in Eng. exc. n. dial.; (2) used as a pl. of 72. above (Abd. 1815 J. Arbuthnot Fishes 60; Mry. 1904 E.D.D.); 78. sea sword, in pl.: the seaweed, Laminaria bulbosa (Abd. 1815 J. Arbuthnot Fishes 38); 79. sea-tammie, the puffin, Fratercula arctica (Ags. 1969). Cf. tammienorie s.v. Tam; 80. sea-tangle, = Tangle, n., the sea-weed; 81. sea-tead, -toad, (1) a kind of starfish (see quot).; (2) the great spider-crab, Hyas araneus (Mry. 1852 Zoologist X. 3682). See Taid; 82. sea-tod, the ballan wrasse, Labrus bergylta (Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife 53); 83. sea-to(u)n, a sea-port town, esp. freq. in 18th c. of harbours built by improving lairds with the fishing villages which grew up around them. Freq. in place-names. Now rare or obs. in Eng.; 84. sea-tow, a mooring rope attached from the stern of a boat (see quot.) (Sh. 1969); 85. sea-trow(e), a sea-sprite or goblin (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.). Hist. See Trow; 86. sea-uiky, see quot. and Uiko; 87. sea-ware, -waur, sea-weed, esp. of the fucus and laminaria sort, washed up by the tide and used as manure (Sc. 1777 J. Lightfoot Flora Scot. II. 904; I. and ne.Sc. 1969). Also in Eng. dial. See Ware, n.; 88. sea-weet, the rock-pipit, Anthus spinoletta, imit. of its cry (Fif. 1876–1933; Wgt. 1958). Cf. 49.; 89. sea-whaup, -quhaup, a species of sea-gull, “of a dark colour” (Fif. 1825 Jam., s.v. Quhaup). Cf. land-quhaup s.v. Land, I. (27) and Whaup The usage in the quot. is poet.; 90. sea-wife, a seaman's or fisherman's wife, a fish-wife; 91. sea-wouf, -oof, the angler fish, Lophius piscatorius (Ags. 1911; Bnff. 1921 T.S.D.C. -oof). See Wouf; 92. sea-wrack, = 87. above. See Wrack.1. m.Lth. 1760 Caled. Mercury (1 Oct.):
James Dalgleish James Bunkle Sea Baillies. Archibald Stuart, Land Baillie.
4. (1) w.Lth. 1761 T. J. Salmon Borrowstounness (1913) 291:
All shipmasters, sailors, mariners, traders, and inhabitants in the town and village of Borrowstounness, and members of the incorporate Seabox there.
Fif. 1863 St. Andrews Gazette (7 March):
The ‘Sea Box,' a friendly society composed of mariners belonging to the parishes of St. Andrews and St. Leonards.
Sc. 1892 Scots Mag. (June) 35:
Some of the “boxes” still exist, the seamen's ones being called “sea boxes.”
(2) Sh. 1899 Shetland News (9 Dec.):
Irvine begood ta pit a' da bread-tree staand i' da sea-box.
5. Bwk. 1908 A. Thomson Coldingham 277:
A “sea-brack” generally bodes evil to the shepherd.
6. Rs. 1819 Edb. Ev. Courant (11 Feb.) 4:
The sea braes are finely sheltered, and afford superior sheep pasturage.
7. Sc. 1846 Whistle-Binkie, Nursery Songs 121:
Sapples o' the sea-bree Stickin' in her hair.
Fif. 1992 Simon Taylor Mortimer's Deep 252:
'...He comes owr tae us, talkin on the water he wis, an raxes owr an taks the deid-kist wi ane hand, an aa the rapes brak, and he coosts it owr the side, jaist like Donald said, like it was a dod o sharn. An syne he jaist saintit like sea-bree.
8. Ork. 1884 R. M. Fergusson Rambles 139:
As the multitude of grey fish swam hither and thither in pursuit of their favourite “sea-breed” the fishing boats followed as fast.
9. Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 92:
My skinjub an' my sea-breeks.
10. Lth. 1848 J. G. Dalyell Rare Animals II. 15:
The Scotish fishermen denominate it sea-caff.
12. Mry. 1734 Session Papers, Duff v. Gordon:
To build a bulwark or sea-car extending no less than thirty foot into the river.
13. Fif. 1718 Burgess Ticket Buckhaven 1:
Haddocks, Herrings, Gremasking-fish, Sea-cats.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 220:
Spout-fish, sea-cats, sea-dogs.
Sc. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 208:
A shilling a piece for sea-cats, Katherine, that is a great deal too much.
Ags. 1925 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 358:
“Sea cats,” “Jerusalem haddocks,” “dogs” and “crooners”.
17. Bwk. 1839 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1885) 240:
The shell is gathered by children, who call it sea-cradles.
18. (1) Kcb. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XI. 14:
Common sea maws, black caps, or sea crows.
(2) Sh. 1949 New Shetlander No. 17. 41:
Lying on da waater in da same wye he'd seen a rain-goose or sea-craa.
Sh. 1975 Andrina Deyell My Shetland 20:
We had shaldurs, sea craws, tysties, scarfs and baakies, but not the tammy norie.
Exp: guillemot
Sh. 1992 Bobby Tulloch A Guide to Shetland's Breeding Birds 60:
(Alca torda)
shet: Sea Craa or Wilkie
20. Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 29:
Like the tails o' twa codlin's oot ower a sea-cubbie.
22. Sc. 1838 W. Scrope Deer-stalking 388:
The highest hills are scattered over with the sea-daisy and other plants.
Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Flights 190:
Sea-daisies wi' their pinky blossoms.
Bnff. 1876 S. Smiles Naturalist 7:
There grew the beautiful sea daisy.
24. (1) Sc. 1785 J. Knox View Brit. Emp. II. 499:
On this coast is a fishery of sea dogs.
Abd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 V. 99:
Sea-dogs which are valuable for their oil.
Lth. 1811 Wernerian Soc. Mem. I. 551:
Great numbers of Sea-dogs generally attend the shoals of herrings that enter the Frith.
Abd. 1833 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 1) VII. 23:
The following, which I have often heard some 60 years ago: “A sey dog an' sybo mak' a gweed sipper”.
26. Abd. 1895 Proc. Nat. Hist. Soc. Gsw. 242:
The Sea-doo's nae an inshore bird 'cep by stress o' weather.
32. Sc. 1814 Scott Lord of Isles Note vii.:
The phenomenon called by sailors Sea-fire, is one of the most beautiful and interesting which is witnessed in the Hebrides.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xlvi.:
Every dash of the oars made the waters glance and sparkle with the brilliant phenomenon called the sea-fire.
33. Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (18 June):
Ye may finn a sea-flaecgh i yer wal, — at da ludge.
35. Sc. 1789 Aberdeen Mag. 488:
There is a fungous substance formed by the foam of the sea, and the influence of the sun and air, the most subtle of all chemical menstrua, well known to the vulgar on the coasts of Scotland under the name of sea-fyke. This substance, dried and pulverized, forms a pungent powder, which possesses a strong power of pricking and blistering, thence denominated sea fyke; because slipped, by mischievous boys, into the small-clothes of their comrades, it makes them fidge, or in the Scotch dialect, fyke.
Ayr. 1817 D. McKillop Poems 107:
As some sea-fike, Your back did blister.
Edb. 1843 Campbell and Garnett Life of J. C. Maxwell (1882) 58:
There was a boy that brought Sea fyke to the school, and put it down the boys' backs.
36. Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods 125:
The strang sea-gleds it took an' blew Awa' like feathers.
37. Abd. 1875 G. MacDonald Malcolm xv.:
When I watch the sea-goos dartin' like arrow-heids throu' the win?
Abd. 1927 E. S. Rae Hansel fae Hame 52:
My sea-goo, . . . I see ye perchin', jaunty ticht.
38. Abd. 1903 Trans. Buchan Field Club VII. 189:
200 Jelly fish (cydippe), commonly known as the “sea gooseberry”.
40. Sc. 1714 Morison Decisions 13526:
The sea-greens in carses, which in spring-tides are entirely overflown, are not inter regalia.
Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Agric. Scot. II. 622:
The land here alluded to, is not those bare shores, that are only left dry at low water; but the flat links, salt-marshes or sea-greens.
Ags. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XI. 119:
Thirty acres have of late been regained from the sea-green of the basin at Old Montrose.
Sc. 1880 J. Skelton Crookit Meg xxx.:
It is the land covered by the spring tides whereof a sea-green consists.
43. Sh. 1874 Trans. Highl. Soc. 245:
Great loss and much misery is often caused by these destructive “sea-gusts”.
44. Edb. 1900 E. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 284:
Close an' warm, wi' a tick sea-haar lyin' weet ower everything.
47. Crm. 1834 H. Miller Scenes (1857) 71:
A secluded, solitary place, the sides sprinkled over with the sea-hip, the sloe and the bramble.
50.Sc. 1995 Daily Record (4 Sep) 19:
They they will have the use of a £250,000 all-weather sports pitch and a boathouse with virtually exclusive use of a sea loch.
Sc. 1998 Aberdeen Evening Express (25 Mar) 5:
A woman was in hospital today after being plucked from a west coast sea loch following a collision between two inflatable dinghies.
Sc. 2001 Edinburgh Evening News (16 Apr) 24:
Apart, possibly, from Norway's fjords, Scotland's sea lochs are the best locations in the world for salmon farming. It is a pity the Government has put the industry in aspic - or local authority control.
Sc. 2004 Herald (25 Sep) 5:
Jon Christlieb, who lives in Argyll and Bute, is planning to fight against the proliferation of mussel farms in Loch Melfort, which he claims damage the beauty and accessibility of the remote sea loch.
51. Sh. 1953 C. G. D. Sandison Sixareen iv.:
Sometimes a sixareen was said to become ‘sea-loose', implying the conditions in which she was travelling so fast that the ‘fluid' under her became a mixture of air and water, and the noise made was said to be as if “she were being drawn through a beach of pebbles”.
53. e.Lth. 1730 Earl of Haddington Select Poems (1824) 210:
Ye're seamaws and tamie nories.
Sc. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads II. 246:
What is white o' her is white As milk, or as the sea-maw.
Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff x.:
Worms to the crows and sea-maws.
m.Sc. 1939 James Barke The Land of the Leal (1987) 360:
'Ach you, you Hielan' stoat!' replied Jenny. 'There's no' enough guts in you to feed a sea-maw. ... '
Abd. 1954 Buchan Observer (16 Nov.):
Hearken tull 'e sea-myaws skryaachin.
Sc. 1965 Weekly Scotsman (12 July) 2:
I canna hear mysel For sea-maws and their din.
m.Sc. 1979 Tom Scott in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 87:
Or we'se tine ti the sea-maw and wildcat this land.
em.Sc. 1988 James Robertson in Joy Hendry Chapman 52 72:
He clautit it out wi his nail, and wis haudin it up tae the licht lik a medal atween his fingers, whan a muckle sea-maw swouffed doun an cleiked it awa in its neb.
em.Sc.(a) 1991 Kate Armstrong in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 114:
Sea-maws twirl mirligo.
A peat-stack's cowped aroun the door.
Scarts breenge ablow.
54. Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 137:
It is reckoned a land-mark or ‘sea-meath' by the fishermen.
55. Sc. 1746 Jacobite Minstrelsy (1829) 308:
By the sea-moullit's nest I will watch o'er the main.
58. Mry. 1852 Zoologist X. 3483:
Occasionally an Actinia, or “Sea-paap,” seems to be “tucked in” without exciting any squeamishness in the eater [a cod].
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 87:
"It winna jink awa frae me yonner," thocht Zeffirino. At thon verra meenit, the braze briered; syne frae neuks an crannies raise a raw o air bibbles that stoppit aa at eence, tae stert again someitherwyes. Sea-paps flichtered in howp.
61. Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders x.:
The wind caught us as she passed the Heads, and like a sea-pellock, buried her nose in the heaving smother.
64. Sc. 1880 W. Black White Wings xx.:
No screaming sea-pyot to give warning.
Gall. 1901 Gallovidian III. 106:
The gulls and the sea-pyots have been singing a wild requiem.
67. Sc. 1777 Caled. Mercury (25 June) 25:
Shell-Marle for Sea-sale. . . . It will be put free on board at 7d. per boll.
68. Mry. 1883 F. Sutherland Sunny Memories 215:
Ye noo maun feed on stane-dried cods, Dulse, an' sea sentry.
70. Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. 44, 64:
Sea-sletch, Clay and Lime, being within a Mile and a quarter of it.
Dmf. 1756 W. McDowall Hist. Dmf. (1867) 543:
To apply a sufficiency of manure or sea-sleitch to the high ground.
Sc. 1889 Scots Mag. (Mar.) 243:
“Sea sleach” — anglice sand from the shore for manure, or roads.
72. Abd. 1885 Folk-Lore Jnl. III. 183:
It is a common belief among many fishermen that every creature on land has its counterpart in the sea, and many fish are named after land animals, as: — “The sea-dog” (Acanthias vulgaris); “the sea-soo” (Labrus balanus); “the sea-cat” (Anarrichas lupus).
74. Sc. 1887 Stevenson Merry Men ii.:
A't he could tell was that a sea-deil, or sea-bogle, or sea-spenster, or sic-like, had clum up by the bowsprit, an' gi'en him ae cauld, uncanny look.
76. Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife 53:
Draco sive Araneus minor; I take it to be the same our Fishers call the Otter-pike or Sea-stranger.
77. (1) Wgt. 1839 J. Hardie Poems 47:
He could fortell a storm when sea-swine sported.
(2) Fif. 1803 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife 128 note:
Several of them [wrasses] are occasionally caught in the Frith of Forth, and are called by our fishers by the general name of Sea Swine.
ne.Sc. 1884 F. Day Fishes I. 255:
Ballan-wrasse, sea-swine, Moray Firth, owing to its making a squeaking noise like a pig.
80. Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags lii.:
Certain ill-set persons were carrying away sea-tangle from his foreshore.
81. (1) Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife (1803) 131:
Stella marina squamosa; the fishers call it the Sea Toad, for that in colour it resembleth a toad.
83. Sc. 1707 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) I. 89:
They came in sight of a sea-toun, wher he had been befor preaching.
Bnff. 1754 W. Cramond Ch. Rathven (1885) 73:
That none be guilty of profanation of the Lord's day, and especially at the Seatown.
Abd. 1875 G. MacDonald Malcolm v.:
The Seaton, or seatown, of Portlossie, a crowd of cottages occupied entirely by fisher-folk.
Rs. 1930 P. F. Anson Fishing Boats 230:
The “Seatown” [of Avoch] is built on a strip of low ground.
Bnff. 1963 North-East of Scotland 97:
The older ‘seatoun' with an untidy plan on the low raised beach shows only one regular feature, the gable-ends aligned in the direction of the winds from the sea.
84. Sh. 1899 E.D.D.:
The old Haff fishermen being unable to haul their boat up on the shore every landing made use of ‘fore'n eft' fastenings, viz. a rope from the fore stem to the land, called ‘da laand tow', another rope with a stone attached laid out to seaward, i.e. astern, called ‘da sea-tow'.
85. Sh. 1701 J. Brand Descr. Zet. 173:
Sea- Trowes, great rolling Creatures, tumbling in the Waters, which if they come among their nets, they break them, and sometimes takes them away with them. The Fishers say, that it is the Devil in the shape of such Creatures.
Sh. 1822 S. Hibbert Descr. Shet. 565:
Formerly, whenever a crew at the Haaf met with some immense and unusual visitant of the seas, as a finner, a grampus or a porpoise, it was converted by them into a sea-trow.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 56:
The sea trow's taen haud o' the selkie rop'.
86. Ork. 1929 Marw.:
Heard only in the phrase — ‘as salt as the sea-uiky'. This is obviously a part-translation of Norw. marulk; Norw. ulk, sea-scorpion or father lasher (Cottus).
87. Sh. 1771 Old-Lore Misc. III. ii. 101:
All lands that pay scatt draw their proportional shares of sea-ware or weed.
Bwk. 1794 A. Bruce Agric. Bwk. App. 96:
The manure used is of the richest kind, viz. fucus vesiculosus [sea-wrack], commonly called sea-ware in Scotland.
Sth. 1831 Brit. Husbandry (Burke 1840) III. 71:
A very considerable supply of sea-ware.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb i.:
A good handful of “sea ware”.
Ags. 1886 A. Willock Rosetty Ends 185:
The seawaur that strewed the beach.
Ork. 1912 Old-Lore Misc. V. i. 4:
The sea-ware thrown on the beach was haversed, that is divided as equally as possible between the two townships.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 45:
' ... D'ye ken that your granny and your mother too when she was a lassie took seaware fae the tidemark to this land. Now it comes in plastic bags - it costs a fine penny and deil the better job does it do for us. ... '
89. Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 208:
The win' sings high, an' the sea whaups cry.
90. Abd. 1699 W. Cramond Ch. Aberdour (1896) 41:
Complaint given in against Elspeth Crookshank and Jean Drum, seawives, for carrying fish on the Lord's day to houses to be sold.
92. Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife (1803) 156:
These near to the coast make much use of sea-wrack, which they lay upon the land with good success. This wrack also is an ingredient in the making of alum.
Ayr. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 V. 464:
The sea-wrack, which in stormy weather is cast ashore.

[O.Sc. sea-box, 1644, -brekis, 1506, -cat, 1528, -cock, 1683, -gust, 1627, -maw, 1450, -tangle, 1531, -ware, 1549.]

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"Sea n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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