Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SCOB, n.1, v.1 Also scobe, scobb, scoub, scowb, and in ballads scope, scoup. [skob, s.Sc. skʌub]

I. n. 1. A twig or cane of willow or hazel, esp. one bent over in the form of a staple and used to fasten down thatch (Cld., Ayr. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1931 Northern Whig (16 Dec.) 9; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Ayr., Wgt. 1969) or to make the frames of lobster traps (Ayr. 1969), baskets (Ags. 1808 Jam.), or the like; a barrel hoop (Kcb. 1952). Phr. scowb and scraw, used adv. = snug, trim, ship-shape (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 422). Ayr. c.1700 W. MacFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) II. 16:
To cutt scob or wattles for necessary uses.
Gall. 1718 Session Bk. Minnigaff (1939) 320:
To provide as many breckans as will thatch it and scobs with other necessaries.
Inv. 1753 A. Ross Freemasonry in Inv. (1877) 72:
To 500 scobs, at 2½d. per 100 . . . 1s. 2d.
Per. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 X. 920:
The net used is what is called a pock-net, about six feet six inches in depth, fixed on a hoop or “scob” formed of elastic hazel wands.

2. A hazel or willow wand used as a fishing-rod (Inv. 1969). Dim. scobie. Inv. 1948 Football Times (11 Sept.):
A “scobie” — the name given to a bit of willow to which you attached reel and line.

3. A rod of wood or occas. metal, used for various purposes (see quots.). Arg. 1776 Session Papers, Petition J. Mackellar (28 June) 2:
Plough-timber, harrow-timber, scobs, cars, spades, and ax-shafts and widdies.
Ags. 1820 Montrose Chron. (13 Oct.) 377:
A Warping Mill, Eveners, Scobbs, Rollers.
Sh. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 133:
All that is required to the prosecution of the cod-fishing in a sloop, are two lines, about 100 fathoms, a lead of 3 or 4 lbs., with a scob, that is, an iron rod bent, two feet and a half long, passing through the upper end of the lead, to each end of which rod is affixed a short toam and hook, baited with the large muscle or yoag.

4. A slat of wood used as a splint for broken bones (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif. 1899 Proc. Philos. Soc. Gsw. XXXI. 40; ne.Sc., Ags. 1969), for a broken bar, wooden shaft or the like; the piece of metal which holds together the stem of a pipe and the mouth piece (Abd. 1969). Ags. 1899 C. Sievwright Garland 52:
He fell and broke his leg. Dr. Guthrie set it, but he would not let the scobs stay on.
Kcb. 1901 R. D. Trotter Gall. Gossip 128:
If the bane wus brokken the en's gaed thegither, an she put twa splinters o' fir moss on for scobes.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vi.:
A scob wuppit on tae that broken hyow-shaft.

5. Two pieces of twigs tied like splints round the tongue to act as a gag. Sc. 1775 Fair Mary of Wallington in Child Ballads No. 91 A. xxix., G. xxxiii.:
Her daughter had a scope into her cheek and into her chin. . . . The scoups was in her doughter's mouth, An the sharp shirrs in her side.

6. (1) A defect in weaving in which the shuttle passes on the wrong side of the warp threads, a loose or missed thread (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) S. 21; Ags., Per., Slg., Fif., Ayr., Slk. 1969). See II. 4. Sc. 1807 J. Duncan Weaving I. 36:
When, from any cause, the weft is not regularly interwoven with the warp, a deficiency must happen in the cloth, which is called by weavers a scobb.
Ayr. 1910 Poets Ayr. (Macintosh) 235:
The wab cam' frae a maister wha Will fairly try each weaver, Nor mak' the maist o' scob or gaw.

(2) transf. A sore on the body (Clc. 1950).

II. v. 1. To bend willow wands into scobs, to fix scobs in thatch (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 422; Uls. 1892 E.D.D.); to lay wooden rods across a beehive, on which the bees may make their honey-combs (Sc. 1808 Jam., to scob a skep; e.Lth. 1969).

2. To use a scob as a gag, to close or obstruct (the mouth) forcibly, to gag. Ags. 1741 A. Reid Royal Burgh Forfar (1902) 424:
If he spak or made any more noise, they would scobb his mouth.

3. To put (a broken bone) in splints (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS (N.L.S.) S. 21; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 265; ne.Sc., Ags. 1969); fig. to patch, mend, join together roughly. Bnff. 1844 T. Anderson Poems 46:
Ye wad get patients by the score To scob an' mend.
Sc. 1854 Jnl. Agric. 192:
If they had scobbed a weak machine as often as I have done, they would probably change their mind.
Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith 7:
To heal a heid, or scob a bane.
Mry. 1932 E. Gilbert Spindrift 46:
Ye canna men' a broken hert As ye wad scob a bane.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vi.:
Stoot tyooch tow tae scob a hyow shaft.

4. To take long stitches in sewing, to sew loosely and clumsily, to baste (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Slk. 1825 Id., scowb). Deriv. scob(e)rie, sewing in this manner (Lth. 1825 Jam.); to miss threads in weaving, to allow the weft to miss the warp (Ayr. 1923 Wilson D. Burns 183; em.Sc. (a), Slk. 1969). Ppl.adj. ‡scobbit, having the threads loose, hence worn, threadbare (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.) Lnk. 1895 W. Stewart Lichts 154:
Though a threed in a thoosan' Scobs the strang warp an' guid woof.

[O.Sc. skob, thatching-rod, 1536, scobe, to gag, 1652, Gael. sgolb, Ir. scolb, splinter, thatching-rod, thin stick. Jam. takes sense 4. of the v. “to resemble a thatcher in placing his scobs at a distance from each other”.]

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"Scob n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 May 2021 <>



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