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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).

GUMFLOUR, n. Also -floor, -flower. An artificial flower (Ork., n.Sc., Ags., m.Lth., Kcb. 1955). Also fig. Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1747 Caled. Mercury (March) 17:
Millenary Goods. . . . Gloves of different Kinds, Demity, Marseil'd and Hair Capes, Patches, Gumflowers large and small.
Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 316:
A crown of gumflowers, which was afterwards put on her.
Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 10:
But vain wad Art her gumflow'rs shaw, Whar Nature's lilies rival snaw.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ann. Parish xii.:
There was she painted like a Jezebel, with gum-flowers on her head.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 332:
Then hey for a fine, merry wedding, An' gum-flowers an' ribbons sae gay.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxv.:
A braw net-mutch, gorgeously rigged oot wi' red ribbands an' gum-flowers.
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. xvi.:
Maddened by a glaring gumflower in the rival's bonnet.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 75:
The married women near the market went in their “mutches,” and some of these caps were very gaudy, with “gum-floors” or bright ribbons in their borders.

[Gum, used for stiffening, + flower, Flour.]

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"Gumflour n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Aug 2022 <>



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