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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.


1. “A bag which, in former times at least, was clandestinely attached to the lower part of the mill-spout, that through a hole in the spout, part of the meal might be abstracted as it came down into the trough” (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.2). See also Blind bitch s.v. Blin, adj., 4 (4).Kcb.1 1935:
The “black bitch” was a special bag used in the days when the meal was hand-sifted, into which the roughest of the meal and the last of the siftings were put. The contents formed an extra multure for the miller.
Rxb. 1825 Jam.2:
A worthy proprietor in Roxb[urgh] . . . had just settled every thing respecting the lease of his mill, when a third person who was present, said to the miller, “I hope you'll no' keep a black bitch?”

2. A nickname for a native of Linlighgow, from the dog on the town's coat-of-arms (Slg., w.Lth. 1975).

[Given as obs. by Watson Rxb. W.-B. 1923.]

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"Black Bitch n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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