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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ICE, n. Also ise (Sc. 1880 Jam.). Sc. usages. [əis]

1. In phr. to play at the ice, to play the game of curling (w. and sm.Sc. 1958).Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff xviii.:
Aweel, the laird, and some ither idle folk were playin' at the ice.

2. Combs.: (1) April ice, used fig. of something transient and of little consequence; (2) ice dirk, an icicle; (3) ice-ground, a curling rink (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); (4) ice-lowsing, -lousan, a thaw (Wgt. 1958). See Lowse; (5) ice-skid, one of a pair of skates (Ib.); (6) ice-stane, a curling stone (Lnk. 1825 Jam.; Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 162; Ags., Per., Fif. 1958); (7) ice-tangle, an icicle (ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1958), -tankle (Per. 1851 R. S. Fittis Misc. Sc. Tradition 349).(1) Ayr. 1824 A. Crawford Tales Grandmother 183:
Dinna think it's April ice you're slidin' on, an' dinna be wishin' sic wishes.
(2) s.Sc. 1887 R. Allan Poems 56:
Long gleaming ice-dirks hanging from the eaves.
(4) Ork. 1910 Old-Lore Misc. III. i. 31:
A ice-lousan cam on an' made sican a burn at da ald widden brig at steud below da mill waas taen awa fair bodily.
Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 4:
Rabbits, which were almost exterminated by a flood during an “ice-lowsing”.
Ork. 1996 Orcadian 11 Jan 19:
These roan pipes never stay attached; as soon as an avalanche of wet snow starts to slide down the roof, when an ice-lowsing begins, it carries the spoots along with it.
(6) Ayr. a.1822 A. Boswell Poet. Wks. 195:
Your ice-stanes in your gray plaids fauld, And try on lochs a pingle.
(7) Ags. 1846 G. Macfarlane Rhymes 59:
Ice-tangles round our houses hing.
Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 34:
My patience is noo as cauld as ane ice-tangle at the drap o' the hoose.

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"Ice n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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