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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ARSELINS, adv. Backwards on or with the arse. [′erslɪ̢nz + ɑ + ɛ]Sc. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 44:
He took shanks-naig, but, fient my care, He arselins kiss'd the cawsey.
Mry.(D) 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 107:
The cat lap arselins o'er the fire, Through fear o' angry Bawty!
Abd.(D) 1742 R. Forbes Ajax his Speech (1869) 9:
Laid him arselins on his back, To wamble o' the yerd.
Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads (1875) I. 272:
And she fell arselins in the creel, And up the string they drew.
Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 61:
Or, glowrin' high, ye in a stank Do arselins stummle.

Comb.: Arselins coup. “Act of falling backward on the hams” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2). Marked obs. in Watson's Rxb. W.-B.

[Arse + lins. Lins for lings. The s stands for the gen. adv. suffix. Ling originally a suffix of direction: ablaut form of lang. E.D.D. gives the word for E.Ang. Arselings not in use in Eng. after c.1000. Does not appear in O.Sc. Cf. Du. aarzelings, Mid.Du. ærselinghs. Bense Dict. of L.Du. El. in Eng. thinks the word may be a reintroduction from Du. into Sc.]

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"Arselins adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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