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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BEAS', Beass, Baess, Beese, Beece, Beis', Bease, Beise, Beiss, n. gen. coll. Applied most commonly to cattle and horses; but used of beasts generally and also applied to insects and to body and head vermin; often also with a qualifying word as cattle beas (Ags.2). [bæs(t) + bəis + bis I.Sc.; bis Cai. + bəis, Mry., Bnff., w.Abd., m.Sc., s.Sc., Uls.; be1s Ags. and Mearns + bis; bes(t) Deeside (old) + bis] Sc. 1995 David Purves Hert's Bluid 18:
Lintie an laiverok, whaup an houdie craw,
foumart an eimok, houlet, pickmaw,
mowdiewart an horniegollach, brok an tod anaw;
sum gait, thai'r littil sib til Inglish beiss ava.
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
Beas, cattle — beasts; living creatures.
Sh.(D) 1924 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. III. 172:
Dir plenty o room, an dir no baess or weemen aboot.
Cai.(D) 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 11:
We've nee hed muckle luck wi' 'e beis' ony wy sin' Kirsty geed fe's.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 161:
Tanster's a fine herd o beise there, fine black stirkies.
Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sketches 20:
I've deen (done) a bittie at the buyin' o' beas' in my time.
Bnff.2 1932:
Fin I lookit inta the vratch's bed it wiz jist crawlin' wi' beese.
w.Abd. 1797–1881 Mem. of J. Geddes (1899) 34:
He was, therefore, never happy save among the nolt, or, as he called them, “the Beass.”
Ags.9 1926:
Laddie ye're scartin' your heid as gin it was fu' o' baess.
Knr. 1891 “H. Haliburton” Ochil Idylls 46:
We've raw'd oor neeps, an' made oor hey, An' towl'd amang the weet like beass!
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 83:
They mind me o' thae insec's the minister was readin oot aboot the tither Sunday — thae locus' beas' that cam up in a michty swarm.
Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 163:
It's a pity they'r gaun oot o' fashion, for they'r gran' beass, but they'r no gude milkers.
Rxb.(D) 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 1:
Bit fient a steekin bull ti yoke on ov a body, for the bease war mensefih.
Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
Beece, cattle; beasts. Also used attrib.
Bnff.2 1932:
It's been a sod hairst, an' beese maet'll be scarce this winter.

[For the loss of t by assimilation cf. cassen for casten, weslin for westling. O.Fr. beste, Mod.Fr. bête, Lat. bestia.]

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"Beas' n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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