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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

THRUM, v.2, n.2 Also throom, ¶thrumb-. Sc. forms and usages:

I. v. Of a cat: to purr (Abd., Kcd. 1972). Also in Eng. dial.Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 113:
Auld baudrons sits an' croodlin' thrums.
Dmb. a.1853 D. Macleod Poet. Lennox 272:
Wi' Baudrons thrummin' on his back.
Bwk. 1862 J. G. Smith Old Churchyard 80:
Nae mair pussie lies on the bachelor's knee, But negleckit she thrums wi' a tear in her e'e.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 28:
Mistress Puss throom-throom't as she clookit his knee.

II. n. 1. A cat's purr, a purring sound. Freq. in expressions in a play of words with Thrum, n.1, 1. (2), q.v. An appar. deriv. is thrumbo in Hurly Thrumbo, n., 2., q.v.Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 109:
The women sit spinning Cording wi' drousie pussie's tlrums.

2. A monotonous topic of conversation.Ags. 1879 J. Guthrie Poems 61:
Ay! on that thrum he's sure to ream For mony hours!

[E.M.E. thrum, to strum, a strumming, of imit. orig.]

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"Thrum v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Dec 2023 <>



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