Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
ROWAN, n. Also row(e)n, roun (Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 118); †roan(e), †rone; raw(e)n, raun (Bnff. 1767 Caled. Mercury (6 April)); raan, ran (Abd. 1767 Abd. Jnl. (5 Oct.); Lth. 1825 Jam.), rane. See also Rodden. [′rʌuən, †ro:ən; ne.Sc. †rɑ:n]
1. The mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia. Gen.Sc. Also attrib. and in n.Eng. dial.
Sc. 1751 Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine Families III. 404:
The Rones, Water Alder, &c., &c., was as full of frute as they could hang. Mry. 1767 Abd. Journal (6 April):
Some Rane or Mountain Ash. Rxb. 1802 J. Leyden Remains (1819) 88:
In Keeldar's plume the holly green, And rowan leaves, nod on. Sc. 1808 Scott Marmion ii. Intro.:
How clung the rowan to the rock, . . . With narrow leaves and berries red. m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 11:
The briar and the rowan. Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped i.:
The big rowans in the kirkyard. Bnff. 1902 Trans. Bnff. Field Club 10:
Over the byre doors and along the eaves you would see “raan” or rowan sticks and red thread. Sc. 1920 A. Gray Songs 57:
A rowan stood by the waterside.
2. The fruit of the mountain ash (Lnk. 1832 W. Patrick Plants 139). Gen.Sc.
Abd. 1827 J. Imlah May Flowers 129:
There aft I the mountain ash reeved o' the rowans. Rxb. a.1860 J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 3:
The rowans, and other berries. Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 52:
The wee dyvour loons . . . speel the trees for rowans and geans. Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 11:
The red rowans were withering on their stems. Sc. 1923 R. Annand End of Fiammetta 35:
Red as the rowan bade she still.
3. Combs.: (1) rowan berry, roan(e) —, the fruit of the mountain ash (Uls. 1953 Traynor). Also attrib. Gen.Sc.; (2) rowan-buss, bush, the mountain ash (Uls. 1953 Traynor); a bough of the tree; (3) rowan jelly, a tart-flavoured preserve made from the fruit of the mountain ash and served as an accompaniment to game or meat. Gen.Sc.; (4) rowan tree, row(e)n-, rountree, rowntrie, roan-, rone-, ra(u)ntree, raantree, raw(e)n tree, rantiree, rantry, ranty (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.), also double form rantry-tree (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 143), the mountain ash (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial.
(1) Abd. 1723 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 98:
I have gathred a quantity of roanberries. Sc. 1759 J. Justice Br. Gardener's Cal. 385:
The Quickbeam or Roane Berry Tree. Sc. 1814 Scott Diary (23 Aug.):
Like round red rowan-berries. Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister iv.:
A twig of rowan berries stuck carelessly into her black hair. (2) Lnk. 1806 J. Black Falls of Clyde 108:
Rax yon row'n buss to me. Sc. 1843 R. Nicoll Poems 141:
The bonnie rowan bush In yon lane glen. Kcb. 1895 Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet xix.:
That picturesque Glenkens warrior, who set a rowan bush on his bare head for a helmet plume. (3) Sc. 1883 Cookery Bk. Lady Clark of Tillypronie (Frere 1909) 176:
Rowan Jelly. Wash the Rowan berries well. Sc. 1929 F. M. McNeill Sc. Kitchen 221:
Rowan jelly is an excellent accompaniment to grouse, venison, and saddle of mutton. (4) Ork. 1721 P. Ork. A.S. XI. 41:
20 Roan trees from Rot Mclelland in the Goos Dubb to be sett ther . . . ¥1 16 0. Sc. 1734 J. Cockburn Letters (S.H.S.) 13:
Have you any rawen tree Berrys laid in earth? Crm. 1756 Caled. Mercury (9 Nov.):
Geen, Laburnum, and Rone or Ran Trees. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 12:
The jizzen-bed wi' rantree leaves was sain'd. Per. a.1800 Lady Nairne Songs (1905) 258:
Oh! Rowan Tree, Oh! Rowan Tree, thou'lt aye be dear to me. s.Sc. 1820 Letter Bks. Sir W. Scott (Partington 1930) 322:
Straight opposite this rowntreegutter on the other side of the Glen. Dmf. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 277:
Black luggie, lammer bead, Rowan-tree, and red thread, Put the witches to their speed! Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. X. 108:
Gude, or Sweet or Peace be here and rowntree [A saying to bring good luck]. ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 188:
The rawn-tree in the widd-bin Haud the witches on cum in. Abd. 1945 Scots. Mag. (Feb.) 378:
The nyaakit ra'antree's gapin' for the snaw.
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"Rowan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jul 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/rowan>
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