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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.

BUSH, n.1 See also Busk, n., and Buss, n.1 Corresponds in form and meaning to St.Eng. bush, but with special extensions not found in St.Eng. [bʌʃ]

1. Low-growing shrubs such as heather, or herbaceous plants growing in a clump, nettles, ferns, etc. (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10, Kcb.9 1937).Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxv.:
The oppressors that hae driven me to tak the heather bush for a bield.

2. “A clump of trees” (Sc. 1902 W. S. Crockett Scott Country 193); a wood.Sc. 1929 Sc. Notes and Queries VII. No. 7 128:
An advertisement in The Times of 20th February 1809, announcing a sale of the fir wood in the Forest of Aboyne, known as “My Lord's Bush,” is interesting.
Mry. 1751 Gordon Castle MSS. (25 Sept.): 
The firr woods divided by the Forester to the Severall Bushes of the same. . . . A bush of Firr wood of the young wood of Badinlie.

3. Proverbial use:Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs 17:
Every Man bows to the Bush he gets Bield frae.

4. Comb.: bush sparrow, “the hedge sparrow, Accentor modularis” (Slg. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 28). Also used in U.S.A., but applied there to Spizella pusilla. Cf. bussparrow, s.v. Buss, n.1

[Busche, c.1500–c.1512, is given in D.O.S.T. as Eng. variant of O.Sc. bus, a tuft (see Buss, n.1, 2, and note).]

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"Bush n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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