Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ROUSE, v.1, n. Also roos(e), rooze, rouze (Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 77, Dmf. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun 12), rus(e); rowse. Also freq. form rousle. Sc. forms and usages. [ru:z]

I. v. 1. As in Eng., to stir up, provoke. Freq. form rousle, also in Eng. dial. Per.4 1950:
He's ower thick-skinned tae be easy rousled.

2. To move with violence or speed, to rush (I.Sc., Bnff. 1968). Rare or dial. in Eng. Bnff. 1885 Banffshire Jnl. (29 Sept.) 2:
An mony an Auchindounian Cam' rousin' up the hill.
Ork. 1949 “Lex” But-end Ballans 8:
An' cheust as I set on de kettle, an' aboot de hoose I roosed.

3. intr. To become agitated, excited or enraged, to grow angry (ne., m. and s.Sc. 1968); with on: to become enraged at, to turn in anger upon (ne.Sc., em.Sc.(a), w.Lth. 1968). Ppl.n. rousin, a state of agitation or anger. Ags. 1895 Brechin Advert. (3 Sept.) 3:
She got into sic a rousin' that she wadna even wait to tak a bite o' meat.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 19:
Hei'll rooze at yince if ee cry names till um.
Abd. 1930 D. Campbell Kirsty's Surprise 24:
I dinna ken hoo the Factor disna roose on ye.

4. To beat, thrash, phs. a mistake for rooslin, see Rousle. Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (6 Feb.) 326:
If I wasna warm an' cozie wi' a roozin' juist ower, I was comfortable wi' the thoughts o' what I wis comin' tae.

5. Ppl.adjs. and deriv.: (1) roused, of an animal: enraged, maddened; (2) rousie, rousy, (i) of the wind: wild, tempestuous; (ii) of an animal: restless, easily excited (s.Sc. 1954); (3) rousin(g), (i) an awakener, in quot. of a drink taken to waken oneself up; (ii) in combs.: (a) rousing bell, a bell rung to let worshippers from a distance know that it was time to rise and get ready for church (Ags., Per., Bwk. 1968); (b) rousing furrow, a deep furrow ploughed in order to break up fallow land. (1) Fif. 1893 G. Setoun Barncraig 28:
He ran out like a r'used nowt.
(2) (i) Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 115:
An' when oor lads war far at sea, An' win's blew lood an' roosie.
(3) (i) Ayr. 1817 D. McKillop Poems 29:
Fain was I to hae a rousin' to clear my e'e.
(ii) (a) Kcd. 1899 W. Andrews Bygone Church Life 43:
The eight o'clock [a.m.] bell is . . . to gar the hill folk mak' theirsel ready or the Kirk win in. This is very often called the “rousing bell”, and the later bell the “dressing bell”, or the “get ready”.
(b) Sc. 1776 Kames Gentleman Farmer 107:
Let the field have a rousing furrow, a cross-brakeing next.
Per. 1799 J. Robertson Agric. Per. 181:
A rousing furrow should be given to it, and the rough stubble turned down.

II. n. 1. A state of great activity or bustle, a hurry (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1968). Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 241:
Boy, du wis in a roos whin du raise.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
He cam' wi' a great rus.

2. A state of anger or rage (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.)

3. A strong wind, a spell of bad weather; a heavy sea (Sh. 1968). Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
He blew a rus o' wind. A rus o' a tide.

4. A blazing fire (Sh. 1968).

[The I.Sc. forms may be derived from or at least influenced by Norw. dial. rus, bustle, rusa, to tumble headlong.]

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"Rouse v.1, n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Aug 2021 <>



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