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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.

CHOW, n.2 Also chew.

1. The game of shinty. Cf. Chaw, n.4Mry. after 1750 Pluscarden MS.:
At eel they played at the chow.
Mry. 1840 Lintie o' Moray (1887) 90: 
Many a game at "chow" In former days was seen, Sir!
Abd. 1890 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 1) IV. 26: 
In the lower part of Buchan Shinty was known as The Cutty Sow, often as the Chew or Chow.

2. The wooden ball used in the game of shinty, or “in a game like shinty played on the sands at Sandend mostly at ‘Auld Eel'” (Bnff.9 c.1927).Mry., Bnff. 1825 Jam.2:
After the chow is struck off by one party, the aim of the other is to strike it back, that it may not reach the . . . goal on their side.
Bnff.6 1914:
Be sure an fess yer chow wi ye fin ye come back fae yer denner.

3. “A big lump or mass of something, turf, etc.; e.g. ‘a yarfa [peat] chow'” (Ork. 1929 Marw.). [tʃɔu (Marw.)]

4. “The roundish end of the carn tangle [q.v.]” (Mry.4 1932).

5. “A bullet-head” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff., Add. 219; Bnff. 1898 E.D.D.).

6. The game of golf (Abd. (Bch. coast) 1965).

[Ad. North. Fr. dial. cho(u)le, cholle, a ball or block of wood used in hockey or football.]

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"Chow n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jul 2022 <>



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