Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

GRAIN, n.2

1. The branch of a tree (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 348; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 250; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd.19, Slk.1 1930; Per. 1955). Since 17th c. obs. exc. dial. in Eng. Gsw. 1732 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 380:
Grains and tops of trees from Polmadie.
Sc. a.1745 Gude Wallace in Child Ballads No. 157 A xxi.:
And five he chased to yon green wood, He hanged them all out-oer a grain.
Abd. 1748 Abd. Estate (S.C.) 74:
To cutting 13 trees and 5 big grains about the Yard of Monymusk . . . ¥1. 16. 0.

2. (1) The branch or fork of a stream or river (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd., Ags., Peb., s.Sc. 1955); an arm of the sea. Also in n.Eng. dial. Freq. in place-names. Sc. 1723 W. MacFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 315:
Where the river of Bannockburn . . . does evacuat itself into Forth a grain of the sea.
Abd. 1765 Invercauld Rec. (S.C.) 36:
Up the said burn untill it devides itself into two grains.
Edb. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 39:
The place was called the Deadman's Grain, — the latter word signifying the place of junction of two small mountain rills which happen to meet in a forked manner.
Rxb. 1902 G. Douglas Diversions 304:
We next pass the “Jedheads,” where the tiny stream of Jed seems to bifurcate in the horns of a double “gram.”

Comb: burn-grain, see Burn., n., 5. ‡(2) A branch of a valley, a tributary valley. Now mostly in place-names. Also in n.Eng. dial. Dmf. 1776 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. (1950–1) 145:
This day hired Wat Anderson and another man to herd the Grains and Asshie Bank.
Slk. 1813 Hogg Queen's Wake 145:
Astonished, mid his open grain, Sees round him pour the sudden rain.
s.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
The branches of a valley at the upper end, where it divides into two; as, Lewinshope Grains.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 36:
We werena half the road, nor bye the grain Whaur auncient Druids left the standin' stane.

3. One of the prongs of a fork, salmon spear, or the like (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Ork., n.Sc., Ags., Rnf., Rxb. 1955). Rxb. 1724 W. Chambers Gypsies (1821) 16:
The deponent saw the grains of the fork strike the said Alexander Fall in the breast.
Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. 166:
A Fork, with five or six small Toes, Grains or Prongs.
Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 183:
Whenever he put the grains o' the leister into the water.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 83:
Wi' a graip wi' grains a half-league lang.

Hence grained, ppl.adj., provided with prongs, -pronged. Edb. 1730 Caled. Mercury (27 .J uly):
Marked on each Flank like a Three-grain'd Fork.
Abd. 1774 Abd. Journal (20 June):
Twelve Three Grained Forks.
Slk. 1829 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. I. 314:
I want a leister of your making; . . . A five-grained one make it; at your own price.

[O.Sc. has grain(e), grane, in sense 1. from 1501, in sense 2., 1456, in sense 4. from 1513, also granit, forked, pronged, 1513; Mid.Eng. gra(y)n(e), greyn(e); O.N. grein, branch (of a tree, of the sea), division.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Grain n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 May 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/grain_n2>

11518

snd

Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

    Loading...

Share: