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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.

SKEW, n.1, v.1 Also skeu, skue, scew, scue, †sckiew, †sque. [skju]

I. n. A stone forming part of the coping of the sloping part of a gable on which the roof rests, the coping itself (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc., obs. in Eng.; a stone slate used in the valley of a roof (Sc. 1952 Builder (20 June) 943).Ayr. 1734 Ayr Presb. Reg. MS. (3 July):
Casting and pointing the West Gavil and South side waird and skiews upon the East end.
Rxb. 1735 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1926) 40:
Mending the sclate roof and pointing the rigging-stone and scues of the said Kirk.
Sc. 1741 Session Papers, Donaldson v. Home (25 June) 26:
4 Foot of droved Sque, restricted to 9d. . . . 3s. 0d.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 43:
High on the sklentin skew or thatched eave.
Lnk. 1807 Session Papers, Waddell v. Waddell (16 Feb. 1809) 104:
A hole between the sarking and the skew.
Abd. 1865 R. Dinnie Birse 16:
The angles of the ridge and skews were neatly rounded with the thatch.
Ayr. 1928 J. S. Gall Muses 19:
Frae the grun tae the skew.
Fif. 1938 St Andrews Cit. (3 Sept.) 3:
A cement flashing at the skews.
Uls. 1951 E. E. Evans Mourne Country 185:
The thatch was secured in Irish style, with a plentiful plastering of clay on the eaves (easens) and gable ends (skews).

Combs.: 1. club skew, the lowest stone in a gable-coping, the springer or kneeler which supports the coping (Sc. 1952 Builder (20 June) 943); 2. side-skew, a lead flashing or gutter at a skew (Fif. 1955); 3. skew-corbel, = 1. (Sc. 1850 J. Ogilvie Imp. Dict.). Gen.Sc.; 4. skew putt, id. (Ib.). Gen.Sc. Also attrib.; 5. skew-stone, id. (Kcb. 1970); 6. skew-tabling, the flat stones forming the gable-coping; 7. summer sque, see Simmer, n.2, 2.4. Sc. 1875 A. Jervise Epitaphs I. 187:
The date of 1637 is upon a skewput stone.
Abd. 1908 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. I. 187:
On the two south skew-put stones are sculptures of a human face, much weathered.
Sc. 1970 Abd. Press & Jnl. (4 July):
The initials of the owner and his wife are sometimes to be found on the skewputt.
5. Sc. 1833 J. C. Loudon Cottage Architecture § 947:
The skew-stones (the coping-stones of the gables, called barge-stones in England).
Abd. 1923 W. D. Simpson Cas. Kildrummy 263:
The gable has curved skewstones, both of which exhibit lettering.
6. Bnff. 1804 Session Papers, Petition J. Duff (24 May 1805) App. 8:
The chimney tops are ruinous, as also a part of the skew-tabling.
Abd. 1835 Hatton Estate MSS.:
Repairing skue-tabling and raggles — 10s. 6d.

II. v. To build a skew; “to cover the gables of a thatched roof with sods” (s.Sc. 1808 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Ppl.adj. skewed, having a skew or gable-coping.Ayr. 1703 Ayr Presb. Reg. MS. (3 Nov.):
For repairing, skewing the west gavell.
Gsw. 1721 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 116:
To skew a foot off each of the nuicks of said gavills.
Abd. 1923 W. D. Simpson Cas. Kildrummy 88:
The gabler is flat-skewed.

[O.Sc. skew, = I., 1531, Mid.Eng. scu(w)e, id., O.Fr. escu, Lat. scutum, a shield.]

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"Skew n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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