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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.

BUSS, Bus', n.1 Cf. Busk, n. [bʌs]

1. A bush. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 32:
... his scadda raxin slawlie and siccarlie,
cawed attoore the groo pad
ower a binsh o broon lavastane,
intil the thorn buss.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 50:
The berry busses hing wi' weet.
m.Sc. 1991 William Neill in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 48:
King Sillersecks rade his gray meare
aff til the birkenshaw;
but birk and buss an bourtree thare
gied him nae bield ava.
Ayr. 1794 Burns Winter of Life ii.:
My trunk of eild, but buss or beild.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 156:
A man with large optics and a profusion of beard, is said to be “like a hoolet lookin' oot o' a whun bus'.”

Comb.: bussparrow, the hedge sparrow. Accentor modularis. Cf. bush sparrow, s.v. Bush, n.1 Also in reduced dim. form bussie (Clc. 1866 P. Alloa Soc. Nat. Sc. 59).Ayr. 1890 J. Service Thir Notandums 52:
The bussparrow and the robin chase ilk ither.

†In phr. to gang o'er the buss-taps, “to behave in an extravagant manner” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2). Given by Watson in Rxb. W.-B. (1923) as obs.

2. “A clump or tussock of grass, rushes, etc.” (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 67). Also known to Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.9, Kcb.9 1937. Cf. Boss, n.4, 1.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 110:
Frae fertile Fields, where nae curs'd Ethers [adders] creep, To stang the Herds that in Rash-busses sleep.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
A buss o' threshes; A nettle buss.

[O.Sc. bus, buss(e), bush, tuft, variant of busk, n., with loss of k (D.O.S.T.). For similar loss of k, cf. Ass, Aise, ash, from O.N. aska or O.E. pl. ascan, and Buss, to adorn, variant of Busk.]

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



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