Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

RAW, n.1, v.1 Also ra(a); †riauve (Mry. 1825 Jam.), see P.L.D. §§ 137, 141. Sc. forms of Eng. row (Sc. 1701 J. Brand Descr. Zetland 123; Edb. 1773 Ferguson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 163; Ayr. 1787 Burns To the Toothache v.; Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 89; Rnf. 1840 J. Mitchell Wee Steeple's Ghaist 43; Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods 119; Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xliv.; Ork. 1904 Dennison Orcadian Sk. 3; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Gen.Sc. See P.L.D. § 34.1.

I. n.

Sc. form of Eng. row.m.Sc. 1987 William Montgomerie in Joy Hendry Chapman 46 15:
In Mr Dawson's classroom
we stude in raws like green papingoes
singin his Esperanto hymn
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 16:
I mind weel the day he cam tae redd
The dowie raws i my yaird

Sc. usages.:

1. Phrs. (1) on raw, in order (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis); (2) twa(e) in a raw, two abreast (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Ayr. 1967); (3) to gie somebody twa raw, to give someone a double dose (of blows).Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 233:
He lowpit the dyke like a three year aul', an' at them wi' his nieves an' his stick, giein' 'em twa raw at the same time.

2. A single circular file, a ring of persons, esp. used of children (Kcb. 1967). Rare and obs. in Eng. Comb. bruid-raw, a group of children gathered round a fire.Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie viii.:
The weanies round him in a raw He raises sic a loud guffaw.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 340:
Come in ti bruid raw.

3. A row of houses, gen. of a uniform construction with common gables, esp. applied to the cottages of miners or farm-servants (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen. (exc. I.)Sc.; a street of such houses. Freq. in place-names. Phr. ‡the raws of Strathbogie, the town of Huntly in Aberdeenshire.Ags. 1720 Dundee Charters, etc. (1880) 176:
To be taken from the prison of this Burgh to the head of the thortor raw in the Overgate.
Fif. 1735 E. Henderson Dunfermline (1879) 430:
The Corporation of Weavers . . . having new built their calender in the new raw.
Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 75:
Wha wad misca' a Gordon on the raws of Strathbogie?
Kcb. 1839 R. Kerr Maggie o' Moss (1891) xxv.:
Down Spottes burn street there was an auld laigh raw.
Lnk. 1862 D. Wingate Poems 64:
They feared that auld Gomorrah's doom Would instantly the raws consume.
Kcd. 1899 A. C. Cameron Fettercairn 167:
Durie's cottages were built about 1860 by David Durie, distiller, for his workmen and are vulgarly designated “The Whisky Raw”.
Fif. 1909 R. Holman Char. Studies 40:
The principal street or “raws” lined a country road.
Rxb. 1914 Kelso Chronicle (25 Dec.) 4:
The Raw was a long line of cottages where the farm servants lived. Fourteen houses of various sizes stood fronting the roadside that led from the village of Sprouston to the farm of Kerchesters. Across the roadway were the little gardens attached to these houses.
Abd. 1952 W. Alexander Place-Names Aberdeenshire (S.C.) 359:
Old people in Huntly still speak of the Raws as meaning the old houses in Old Road, half-way between the Bogie and the Square. The Rawes of Noth was a hamlet in Rhynie parish. . . . “The Creeshie Raw”, Longside, an old hamlet near Inverveddie, the inhabitants worked at the wool mill at Kinmundy.
Lnk. 1960 Stat. Acc.3 334:
The miners' rows have now disappeared almost entirely.

Hence figuratively, in phr.: at poverty raw, on the verge of destitution (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); to be in the dirt raw, see Dirt, n., 4. (12).

4. Jocularly applied to a rookery, as the streets of the rooks (Lnk. 1822 G. R. Kinloch MS.). Cf. 3.

II. v. 1. tr. to set up in a row, to arrange in a line (Ork., Kcb. 1967); intr. to form a line or file.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 151:
A farmer . . . Made aften sweet milk cheese And raw'd them nicely in his deals.
Lnk. 1844 J. Lemon St. Mungo 49:
Wi' breckans in our caps, We raw'd like sodger loons.
Slg. 1862 D. Taylor Poems 156:
Their domiciles are raw'd as neat As herrin strung upon a speet.
Rnf. 1895 J. Nicholson Kilwuddie 157:
The left anes [potatoes] laid by to be roastit . . . Or rawed on the hob, whaur they toastit.
Dmf. 1912 J.L. Waugh Robbie Doo 17:
And when they were a' rawed up on the street o' a mornin', prepared again for the mairch.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 99:
Syne rawed alang the smiddy bauks ilk ballant skenklin' hangs.

2. Of root crops: intr. to come up in rows (Kcb. 1967); tr. to set up in drills.Slk. 1821 Hogg Poems (1865) 363:
Tell us how the lang-kail thrive, An' how the turnips raw.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 46:
We've raw'd oor neeps, an' made oor hey.

3. To bring in single file ewes that are late in lambing to a field beside the shepherd's house where they can be under observation. Vbl.n. rawing.Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Frae the Heather 120:
On Tuesday last wi' eydent ca'in Wi' made a finish o' the rawin.
Slk. 1925 Scottish Farmer (14 Feb.):
The rawing in comes on at the end of three weeks. I bring the grit ewes in so as to see them oftener.
Dmf. 1957:
When you want to count sheep, ye raw them bye in single file. You lamb for 17–20 days on the hill, and then, when the most of the yowes are lambed, the few left are rawed in to a shed beside the hoose, to save trouble.

[O.Sc. raw, a row of houses, 1408, on raw, in a line, 1375, in order, 1513.]

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

"Raw n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: