Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
FISH, n., v. Sc. usages:
I. n. Specif. applied to: 1. the salmon. Gen.Sc. in all salmon areas; “includes sea-trout” (Bwk.2 1952). Hence comb. fish-money, a bounty given for a certain number of fish caught (Bwk.3 1952).
Sc. 1830 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 388:
You're a gran' par-fisher, sir; but you're nae Thorburn either at troots, morts, or fish. s.Sc. 1843 W. Scrope Salmon-Fishing 93:
That's no fish ava. . . . Do ye no ken a troot when ye see it? Abd. 1936 T. H. White England have my Bones 29:
When people talk about salmon here they call it “a fish.” Trouts are just trouts. Sc. 1950 Scotsman (1 Feb.):
By the way, only salmon are fish in the Borders.
2. White fish, as opposed to herrings (Cai.7, Ags.17, Fif.1 1942).
3. In combs.: (1) fish(y)-bee, a bluebottle fly (Sh. 1952); (2) fish-cadger, a fish hawker. Gen.Sc.; †(3) fish-carle, a fisherman; †(4) fish-currie, = Currie, n. (Per. 1825 Jam.); (5) fish-flee, the bluebottle fly. Also fishy-flee (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh.10 1952); (6) fish-hawk, the osprey, Pandion haliaetus (Sc., Sh. 1885 Swainson Brit. Birds 141). Also fishing-hawk, (Ib.), fish-hawker (Sh. 1932 J. M. E. Saxby Sh. Trad. Lore 199); (7) fish-side, the flesh side of a split fish as opposed to the skin side (Sh.10 1952); (8) fish-staff, a gaff, fish-hook. See Huggie-staff; (9) fish-toun, a fishing village (Abd.27 1935).
(2) Edb. 1803 in R. Sibbald Fife & Knr. 119:
It was a general officer . . . who first taught the people of Fife that [turbot] were eatable, and astonished the fish-cadgers by offering a shilling apiece for the largest of them. Ags. 1888 Barrie Auld Licht Idylls ii.:
Rival fish-cadgers . . . screamed libels at each other over a fruiterer's barrow. (3) Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 143:
Ye fish-carles never lift an oar, In codlin greed. (5) Sh. 1927 Shet. Times (23 April):
Loard, joost tell me whats da oose O' mudjicks, mochs, and fishy flees? Sh. 1937 J. Nicolson Restin' Chair Yarns 9:
Da room was swarmin' wi' folk, as tight as ever you saw fish-flees on a codlin' head i' da summer. (7) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (19 Nov.):
[To] staand at a widden box foo o' fresh watter, an' taer awa' apo da fish side o' a ling wi' a kiaar brush. (8) Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 31:
Hae da fish-staff clair. (9) Abd. 1781 Caled. Mercury (21 July):
At the Fish-town of Colliston, there is a commodious and safe harbour.
II. v. To endeavour, to contrive (Arg.3, Ayr.8 1952).
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie I. xiii.:
If I dinna get my dinner noo, thae deevils, our clerks, will be back; and, if they fin' out that I'm toom, they'll fish to famish me.
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"Fish n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/fish>
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