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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SHANTREWS, n. Also -tr(e)use, -trouse, -truish; shawin-trewse; shean-, seann-; ¶shantrum (Gall. 1901 Gallovidian III. 94). The name of a Highland solo dance with reel steps, and of the tune which accompanies it (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 263; Sc. 1964 J. F. and T. M. Flett Trad. Dancing 119). Gen.Sc. The tune first appears in R.Bremner's Collection (1757) as Shaun Truish Willichan. [ʃɑn′tru:z]Ayr. 1767 Ayr Presb. Reg. MS. (28 Jan.) 262:
The Defender asked the Deponent if he would dance Shantrouse to him.
Sc. 1799 J. Stoddart Remarks on Local Scenery (1801) II. 133:
Young boys are seen dancing, with great agility, the Shantrews, the Hornpipe or the Reel.
Inv. 1804 E. Grant Mem. Highl. Lady (Strachey 1898) 37:
Lady Jane was rcally clever in the Gillie Callum and the Shean Trews.
Dmf. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (Nov.) 149:
Performing a measure resembling the first step of shan truish.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail lxxiii.:
Let your father play the Scotch measure, or shantruse.
Bnff. 1844 T. Anderson Poems 41:
Up then! an' let us trip Shan treuse Upon the green.
Per. 1879 P. R. Drummond Bygone Days 312:
Their “Shantruse,” their “Hulachan,” and “Highland Fling.”
Sc. 1954 H. Thurston Scotland's Dances 66:
The earliest references we have to two of our modern highland dances (the Highland fling and ‘Seann triubhas') show them being danced by women.

[Ad. Gael. sean triubhas, old trousers. See Trews.]

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"Shantrews n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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