Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SKOOSH, v., n., adv. Also sc(h)oosh. [skuʃ]

I. v. tr. and intr. Of liquids: to (make to) gush in spurts or splashes, to squirt; of solid objects: to dart, to glide or move rapidly with a swishing sound, to swish. Gen.Sc. Comb. †skoosh-car, a tramcar, from the noise made by the wheels on the tracks (wm.Sc. 1955). Deriv. skoosher, a utensil for sprinkling or spraying, a sprinkler (Inv., Abd., Per., Lth., wm.Sc. 1970). Comb. ring, bang, scoosh, the name of a children's game (see 1965 quot.). Lnk. 1890 J. Coghill Poems 120:
It wad scoosh awa' roun' muckle stanes.
Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie viii.:
Doon the length o' Yoker on the skoosh car.
Lnk. 1928 Bellshill Speaker (12 Oct.):
I'd see the 'buses schooshin' by.
Lnk. 1933:
A boy of 11 stabbed him and he was ‘skooshing with blood'.
Cai. 1961 “Castlegreen” Tatties an' Herreen' 21:
D'ye see 'e wey they wheech along an' scoosh roon' 'e coarners?
Edb. 1965 J. K. Annand Sing it Aince 36:
Water coloured pink That I can hae to synd my mou' Syne skoosh intil his sink.
Edb. 1965 J. T. R. Ritchie Golden City 35:
Ring, Bang, Scoosh — “Ring!” — ye ring the bell; “Bang!” — ye kick the door; “Scoosh!” — ye run for it.
Per.6 1970:
“Scoosh” was much used by young people in the twenties and thirties as a term in country dancing for side-stepping.

II. n. 1. A splash, spurt, jet of water or other liquid (n. and m.Sc. 1970).

2. Lemonade or other aerated water, esp. when mixed with alcoholic drinks (m.Sc. 1970). Sc. 1965 Rebels Ceilidh Song Bk. No. 2. 9:
He had some Scotch and scoosh.

3. A variation of the game of marbles, in which 6 marbles were placed against a wall, and a chalk line drawn 3–4 yds. away, which the player might not cross. He then attempted to hit the marbles with a large marble, and, if successful, kept those he had hit, and had another throw. If he were unsuccessful, another player took his turn (Dmf. c.1910).

III. adv. With a splash or swish (ne.Sc., e. and wm.Sc. 1970).


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"Skoosh v., n., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Oct 2021 <>



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