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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CASSIE, Cassy, Cassay, Cassey, Casey, Casy, Cassa, n.2 and v.2 Also cassow, pseudo-Highland cassick (Sc. 1810 Hogg Tales (1874) 262). Sc. forms of Eng. causeway. See also Calsay and Causey. [′kɑsɪ̢, ′kɑsə, ′kɑ:zi]

1. n.

(1) A cobbled street or pavement. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1904 Heir of Linne in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 267 B iii.:
But if he had been his father's heir . . . He wadna stand on the cauld casey, Some an woud taen him in.
Gsw. 1713 Records Burgh Gsw. (ed. Marwick 1908) 500:
Repairing of Floick bridge and mending and helping the casseys thereof.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) II. 338:
Up wi' her, an' gie her some good bumps on the cassa.

(2) “The paved portion about the door of a cottage or small farm-house” (Uls.2 1929, cassy); Uls. 1990s; also 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.; “the cobbled part of a byre or stable” (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 1938).

(3) “A large stone, a paving stone” (Mry.1 1925; Abd.22 1938); a cobblestone; cf. causey n. 4.Abd. 1980s:
It's a shame that one of the few aspects of Georgian Edinburgh that have been preserved in George Square are the cassies.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 47:
Dug-pish at the foun o the auld gas lichts in the streets froze yalla ower the skytie cassies.
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 21:
A bonnie exhibition for a King
tae mak, loupan owre the cassies
daein the Hieland Fling
like a muckle gowk.
m.Sc. 1982 Syd Scroggie in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 9:
The soot on the cassies,
The drunk on the seat.
Gsw. 1978 Edith Little When Sixpence was a Fortune 17:
The cassies on the slip-way were wet and pretty steep
My mother kept on sayin "Noo dinna weet yer feet."

(4) Combs.: (a) casey-bool, “a round boulder formerly used in paving” (Ags.17 1938); see also Bool, n.1, 4; (b) casey croon, the middle of the street (Abd.2, Ags.1, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1938); (c) cassie-dunter, “a heavy implement used for levelling paving-stones” (Abd.16 1934; Lnk.3 1938); (d) cassie man, a stone mason who specializes in shaping cobblestone for roadmaking; (e) casy stone, a cobble stone (Abd.19, Fif.10, Lnk.3, Kcb.10 1938).(b) Ags. [1867] G. W. Donald Poems, etc. (1879) 40:
We aye hae held the casey croon.
(d)ne.Sc. 1991 Scotsman 19 Jan 13:
His father, James Bissett, master cassie man at Fyfe's quarry, had gone to Odessa to teach the Russian quarrymen the refinements of modern granite dressing.
(e) Sc. 1712 Letters from Prof. Blackwell in Spalding Club Misc. (1841) I. 220:
If there be a coachman in England that is a good whipman for stage journey, I intend to have him, for then I shal be free of the casy stones of London, and shal bring doun the bones and relicts of ane old friend to see if the Fairyhill air . . . will give any reviving.

2. v. To pave; to fit cobble-stones together (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1938). Hence cass(ay)er, a pavoir (Rxb. 1721 J. Wilson Hawick (1858) 67).Sc. 1723 W. Macfarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 387:
East from the church of Graitney begins a highway called the barrowgate all cassowed supposed to be a Roman way.
Gsw. 1717 Records Burgh Gsw. (ed. Marwick 1908) 612:
It is necessary that the same [bridge] be cassayed.
Lnk. 1712 Minutes J.P.s Lnk. (S.H.S. 1931) 133:
Part of the highway . . . will be very expensive in its mending and reparation, and must be cassied for seven score paces of measures.

[O.Sc. has forms cassay, cassey, cassa, cassie, cassy, a causeway, pavement, and cassay, cassa, to pave (D.O.S.T.). For etym. see Calsay.]

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"Cassie n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Feb 2023 <>



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