Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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LAMB, n.1, v.1 Also lam(m); laam (Sh.). Dim. forms lambie, lam(m)ie, -y, lammichie, lammiken; deriv. laamiet (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.), lambet (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), lammit (see etym. note). [lɑm; dim. ′lɑme]

Sc. usages:

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Combs. and phr.: (1) lamb-bed, the uterus of a ewe (Ork., Cai., Gall. 1960). Cf. Eng. dial. calf-bed; (2) lamb-gang, a sheep-pasture. Cf. Gang, n., 3. Used fig. in quot.; (3) lamb-house, laamoose, in Sh., a small house or shelter in which lambs are kept in the winter months (I.Sc., Cai. 1960). Also lambihoose (Sh. 1948 New Shetlander No. 48. 26); (4) lamb lilies, Scotch asphodel, Tofieldia palustris (Ayr. 1886 B. and H. 297); (5) lamb's ears, the hoary plantain, Plantago media (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Ayr., Wgt., Rxb. 1960); (6) lamb's lugs, lammie's —, = (5) (Bnff., Abd., Ags., Lth. 1960); also the plant Stachys lanata, so called from its woolly leaves (Ags., Fif., wm.Sc., Wgt., Uls. 1960); (7) lamb('s) tongue, field mint, Mentha arvensis (Sc. 1808 Jam., lamb-; Cai., Wgt. 1960); (8) lammie-meh, a pet name for a lamb (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; n.Sc., Per., Fif., s.Sc. 1960); (9) lammie sourocks, sorrel, Rumex acetosella (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.). See Sourock and cf. Eng. sheep sorrel, id.; (10) lamoo, lamb-wool, used fig. in phr. to gang down like lamoo, to be easily swallowed, to be very palatable or tasty, sc. slipping down the throat (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (11) the tod and the lambs, see Tod. (1) Dmf. 1812 W. Singer Agric. Dmf. 573:
Many of them had much difficulty in lambing, which caused frequently an inflammation in the lamb-bed.
(2) Edb. 1828 M. & M. Corbett Tales and Leg. III. 25:
Till the Good Shepherd comes to carry you awa' in his bosom to the lamb-gang o' the ither world.
(3) Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sk. & Poems 22:
They would stand and speak for a good while up at the lamb-house.
Sh. 1928 Manson's Almanac 192:
He passed on in the direction of the laamoose.
Sh. 1957 J. Stewart Sh. Archæology 44:
Farther away were lambhouses, skeos for drying fish and meat, and houses for geese.
(6) Abd. 1954 W. Milne Eppie Elrick iv.:
The banks of the river, thick with grass and flowers, mappies' mous, “lammies' lugs” and the redolent “queen o' the meeda”.
(7) Cai. 1829 J. Hay Poems 74:
An' smooth lamb's tongue, an' maiden woo, An' flower de luce.
Sc. 1910 Trans. Edb. Field Naturalists' Soc. VI. 321:
Another troublesome subterranean worker is the Field Mint (Mentha arvensis), with its thick, white, underground stems, called “lamb's tongue” in some rural districts.

2. In dim. pl.: the cones of the larch (Abd. 1886 B. & H. 298). Cf. yowie, Yowe, id.

3. As in Eng., a term of endearment, very freq. in I.Sc. and in dim. in Gen.Sc. use applied to a child, or a sweetheart or, in I.Sc., between women. Comb. lammie-loo, id. See Luve. Also attrib. Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Songs (1905) 226:
Baloo loo, lammie, now baloo, my dear, Now baloo loo, lammie, ain minnie is here.
Bwk. 1801 “Bwk. Sandie” Poems 103:
Some say that Fortune is horn-blind, An' some ca' her a witch, Some praise her as a lammie kind.
Mry. 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 116:
I'm right fain, ye needna doubt, To meet my Lammy.
Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize I. iii.:
I stand in need, my lambie, o' a' your winsome comforting.
Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems (1869) 50:
My sweet wee smilin' lammie!
Sc. 1874 W. Allan Hamespun Lilts 320:
A lammiken lassock I troo.
Sc. 1884 A. S. Swan Carlowrie i.:
Puir wee orphan lammie, . . . I'm wae for Jeems Beatoun's ae bairn . . . Has her faither left naething?
Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sk. & Poems 3:
Yae, my lammit, I widna say bit what dey'll be someen comin' dis lent da nicht.
Fif. 1886 W. Wilson Echoes of Anvil 111:
For wee bonnie Andy's my little lammie loo.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man xlvi.:
See, lammie, but I loved ye.
Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 49:
“I cood aesily go trow a onse o' dis stuff i' da day” “So lamb! Low'se see if we cauna fin' sometin' 'at'll shüt dee better.”
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 321:
Me caddie lam, I like dee.
Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 61:
See, tak it i' yer haunie, lam, An' pit yer haunies at yer back.

II. v. As in Eng., to bear a lamb, to help a ewe in parturition. Hence lamber, = 3. (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Sc. Combs.: 1. lambing cleek, = lambing stick below (wm.Sc. 1960); 2. lambing house, lambing shed, a shed in which ewes are gathered for lambing; 3. lambing stick, a long stick with a wide curved head for catching ewes by the neck at lambing-time (w., sm. and s.Sc. 1960); 4. lambing-snaw, a period of severe weather gen. about lambing-time in March (Ork. 1960); 5. lambing-storm, id. (n.Sc., Ags. 1960). 2. Rxb. 1914 Kelso Chron. (3 April) 3:
The “lambing shed,” with its parracks, is situated near the steading.
3. Dmf. 1953 Dmf. & Gall. Standard (2 Sept.) 7:
Lambing stick, wood head . . . Lambing stick, horn head.
5. Inv. 1955 Scotsman (16 May):
The “lambing storm” is something with which we are familiar and we rather expect it.

[O.Sc. has lamby as a term of endearment, 1649. The Sh. hypocoristic form lammit represents O.N. lambið mitt, Norw. lammet mit, my lamb!]

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"Lamb n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Apr 2021 <>



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