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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TROW, v.1, n.2 Also trowe; trowl, trool, trull. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. troll, to roll, to fish by dragging a baited line through the water. [trʌu(l)]

I. v. 1. intr. To roll over, descend by rolling, to spin round (Lnk., Bwk. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also in reduplic. form trow-row.Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems 264:
Her head out owre her heels she'll trowe.
Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 116:
Blabs o' sweat, baith large and cawl, Trull'd owre his face.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian l.:
Like a stane trowling down hill.
Rxb. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 315:
Heels up, [he] trowed in the dam outright.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Verses 18:
Ower he fa's trow rowin' like a bool.
Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 133:
Wha had gowd come trowin till them.
Dmb. 1931 A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle iii. ix.:
Engrossed in watching the wee troolin' balls [bowls].

2. tr. or refl. To cause to roll, spin or turn round (Lnk., Slk. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), to trundle.Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxi.:
As I was wont to trowl down the ninepins in the skittle-ground.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's xxvi. 27:
Wha taks to trowin stanes, may hae them stottin aboot his ain croon.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae Lowland Hills 15:
I trow me roond till I face the sky — That land unkenn'd far abune me set.

3. To walk with a rolling or waddling gait (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Ppl.adj. trowin (Id.).Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 105:
Lang may you row, trow, guzzle, swatter.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 226:
There were women wi bairns in prams, loons and lassies trowing fae the school, a puckle o teachers and retired men o worth, and in the van the campers.

4. tr. and intr. To pour liquid frequently from one vessel to another (Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 469, trou); “to season a cask by rinsing it with a little wort” (Ags. 1808 Jam., to trow the brew-looms); to stir or toss up liquid food with a spoon, to cool it or in showing distaste for it (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 200).

5. With wi: to nurse (someone) in a dainty or careful manner (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 200).

II. n. 1. Any long unshapely thing which trails on the ground (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B., troll, trol(l)ie); something of a length disproportionate to its breadth (Per. 1825 Jam.).

2. The dung of horses, cows, and man (Dmf. 1825 Jam.; Fif. c.1850 Peattie MS., trollie).

3. The playing of a marble by rolling it, usu. from the palm of the hand, towards the hole. In dim. form trollie, a very large marble (Ayr. 1900).m.Lth. 1965 J. T. R. Ritchie Golden City 64:
In Musselburgh the name we give to the ‘roll-up ' is the ‘trow '.

4. A continued tossing up of liquid by means of spoon (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 200). Cf. I. 4.

5. Dainty or careful nursing (Id.). Cf. I. 5.

[The -l forms are mixed Sc.–Eng. forms (cf. also Row, v.1, rowl). Trowl is also found in Eng. from the 15th–19th cs.]

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"Trow v.1, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2022 <>



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