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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

VOW, int. Also vou, vowve. An emphatic exclamation expressing pleasure, admiration, surprise, gosh!, gee!, upon my soul! (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Phrs. dear vow, eh vow, vow me, id., to think vow at, to be impressed or astonished by. See Wow, int. [vʌu]Sc. c.1746 The Charmer (1751) II. 350:
The volunteers prick'd up their ears, And vow gin they were crouse, man.
Per. 1773 in Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) 245:
O vou! how happy will we be.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Tam o' Shanter 114:
And vow! Tam saw an unco sight!
Sc. 1819 Glasgow Peggie in Child Ballads No. 228. A. iii.:
Dear vow! but he was wondrous sorey.
Rnf. 1824 D. Webster Rhymes 19:
I made them think vow at my learning.
Bnff. 1844 T. Anderson Poems 27:
Vow me! the fun that I hae seen.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 117:
An' when I saw that ye were weel, Vow, man, but I was gled.
m.Lth. 1960:
Oh vow!, will ye clear yer bedroom.
Rs. 1990:
Oh vowve.

[O.Sc. vou, id., 1638. Orig. prob. imit. Cf. Wow, int. The phonology precludes connection with Voo, vow. Gael. bhòbh [vo:], id., may be the same word.]

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"Vow interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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