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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BOO, v.2, tr. and intr. Also bou. Sc. form of St.Eng. bow, to bend. See also Bow, v.3 [bu:]

Sc. form of Eng. bow as a form of courtesy.m.Sc. 1991 William Neill in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 49:
But ben the ha thare's fouth o spies
wha bab an bou an steal;
thay ken it wull be nae surprise
when this yin gaes as weill.
m.Sc. 1991 Robert Calder in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 139:
Weel kennt it is Eck bous for nane:
folk wee as he is nane. The faut
is Eck's that aye in snaw, wund, rain,
he bou'd til nobs: the price gey saut
wes that his back set stiff frae end til end
straucht as a pincil, canna bend!

Sc. usages:

1. tr. To bend (ne.Sc., Ags. 1975). Obs. in Eng. Also ppl.adj.Sc. 1728 Trial of James Carnegie 88:
He afterwards boasted . . . that he had bowed his sword upon the person of a fellow at Scarbridge.
Sc. 1907 D. MacAlister Echoes 25:
I ne'er hae boo'd your honest back A lording's scorns to bide.
Abd. 1949:
Ye'll boo the hannle if ye birze ower hard on't.
Abd. 1994 Sheena Blackhall in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 134:
She wis wearin a wee fite hat, clapt abune her lugs like a booed ashet.
Edb. c.1883 J. W. Paxton Poems, When Oor Youth is Awa i.:
Though we think na the noo, that age will us boo.

2. intr. To bend, to curl up.Sh.(D) 1916 J. J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr 17 Navember:
A brave haert may boo; bit he never can brak.
Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes viii.:
“I tried to cry oot,” she said afterwards, “for I kent 'at it was rottans; but my tongue booed i' my mou' for fear, and I cudna speak ae word.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 61:
Half by sax o the mornin wad see him booed ower the muckle steen kitchie sink, wallopin soapy haunfus o watter an carbolic ower his lugs.
Ags. 1912 A. Reid Forfar Worthies 15:
His poor, thin shanks of legs-and his "bout," or club feet.
m.Sc. 1979 William J. Tait in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 37:
Nou, ayont the trees
Whase ilka branch maun be booed doon
Wi a toansil-happy franc-tireur,
There liggs a nest, an eyrie, quate
This fifteen months.
w.Dmf. publ. 1912 A. Anderson Surfaceman's Later Poems 204:
Then the fairies wha bide by the side o' the burn Where the grass boos doon an' dips.

3. Phrases: (1) boo an e'e, “to close an eye, sleep” (Bnff.2, Ayr.8 1935); (2) boo one's hough, “to sit down” (Kcb.1 1935); (3) to boo ane's knee, = (2).(1) Sc. 1725 Orpheus Caled. (Thomson) 40:
The live-lang Night he ne'er bows his Eye.
wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 290:
I wish I may boo an e'e the nicht.
Lnk.5 1928:
I never boo'd an e'e a' nicht, I never closed an eye all night.
(2) Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 234:
Man, John, I'll boo my hough a meenont an' leuk at 'e ferlies gaun by t'e windock.
(3) Dmf. 1898 J. Paton Castlebraes 93:
The homely summons to "come awa' ben", or to "boo their knee," -that is, to enter the house and rest on a seat.

4. Combs.: (1) boobackit, booed-backed, “hump-backed” (Cai.7, Abd.19, Kcb.1 1935); (2) boo taet, forelock (used in salutation).(1) Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake, etc. 139:
The jaud, at best, was gey boobackit.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 21:
I lookit back — an' the sun shone fair On the booed-backed servant o' God doon there.
(2) Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 10:
Doon he gaed on his knees . . . his right hand poo'an' his boo taet.

5. As in Eng. to make an obeisance. Specif. in vbl.n. phr. a-booin, jocularly, bowing in order to court favour or win support in an election, canvassing. Per. 1849 T. H. Marshall Hist. Perth 448:
It was no unusual thing to see written, with a piece of chalk on the shop door of the more active of the corporation, - "Gone a booing."

[O.Sc. bow(e), bouw, bou; O.E. būgan, to bend.]

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"Boo v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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