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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.

SHUE, v., n. Also shu, shoo, shough, schew, show, sue, sju (Jak.), and deriv. forms shew, ¶shoo(e)r, sjuer. [ʃu:]

I. v. 1. tr. and intr. To swing, rock or sway backwards and forwards; also of a child's pastime, to swing or rock on a rope, gate or see-saw (Sc. 1880 Jam., schew; Slg., Fif., Lth., wm., sm. and s.Sc. 1970).Per. 1821 T. Atkinson Three Nights 51:
His auld mither would shu Him a while up and down in a scull.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xxxvi.:
We'll shoo ane anither on a swing.
Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 304:
Shuin his arms up and down as if nursin.
Gsw. 1862 J. Gardner Jottiana 29:
Shuin' like a swingin' aik When the wil' tempests owre it break.
Lnk. 1880 Clydesdale Readings 119:
She sat shooin' hersel' back an' farrit.
Gsw. 1910 H. Maclaine My Frien' 95:
I couldna get used to the shoo, shooin' o' the boat.

Combs.: (1) shooin' dale, a see-saw. See Dale, n.2; (2) shoo dick, the game of see-saw; (3) shoo shuggie, an excl. used in dandling a child. See shuggie-shue s.v. Shog, n., 3. (2).(1) Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 207:
Forbye a hobby horse o' chains, An' shooin' dales for younger weans.
(2) Edb. 1850 J. Smith Hum. Sc. Stories 9:
The sparrows an' laverocks were playin' at shoo-dick i' the clouds.
(3) Sc. 1903 R. Ford Children's Rhymes 24:
Shoo shuggie, owre the glen, Mammie's pet, and daddie's hen.

2. To back water in rowing, to row a boat backwards (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 197; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; I.Sc., Cai. 1970). Freq. in comb. shue inunder, id.Sh. 1846 Fraser's Mag. (Sept.) 334:
The rest of the crew row, stern foremost, and this is andowing or shoughing the boat.
Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 104:
He cries agen, shoo.
Ayr. 1885 J. Meikle Yachting Yarns 48:
We shooed back a stroke.
Sh. 1892 Manson's Sh. Almanac:
By da time dat da fort packie wis dune, we haed ta sueinonder.
Ork. 1904 Dennison Orcadian Sk. 4:
De meenit ye see me oot o' the boat, shue wi' a' the birr i' your bodies.
Uls. 1937 S. MacManus Bold Blades xx.:
They swung her round, by Feargal shewin' on his oar.
Sh. 1952 J. Hunter Taen Wi Da Trow 45:
Noo lift your sails half-up da masts, An shoo back, sae dat you mak little wye.

3. In deriv. shoor: to make a pulling or pushing motion, to work (a handle, etc.) to and fro.Sh. 1904 E.D.D.:
Shoor upo da kirn.

II. n. 1. A rocking, to-and-fro motion; a swing or swinging rope, a see-saw (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ayr. 1910).Sh. 1893 Sinclair MS. 12:
As I cam alanxt da Sapie dey wirna sae muckle shoo as I lippen'd.

2. A push, shove, a pushing backwards and forwards.Lnk. 1889 A. G. Murdoch Readings ii. 84:
A tug steamer which flung up some terrible big waves, an' gied us twa-three desperate ‘shoos'.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (26 May):
Hit wid a set dee better if doo'd . . . com' an' gien me a shooer.
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
Du micht gie's a sjuer upon da kirn.

[Shue is the reg. development, with vocalisation of -v-, of O.E. scūfan, Eng. shove. Cf. doo' dove, O.E. dūfe. The Sc. meanings are later semantic extensions.]

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"Shue v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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