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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
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.

CHOW, n.2 Also chew.

1. The game of shinty. Cf. Chaw, n.4Mry. after 1750 Pluscarden MS.:
At eel they played at the chow.
Mry. 1840 Lintie o' Moray (1887) 90: 
Many a game at "chow" In former days was seen, Sir!
Abd. 1890 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 1) IV. 26: 
In the lower part of Buchan Shinty was known as The Cutty Sow, often as the Chew or Chow.

2. The wooden ball used in the game of shinty, or “in a game like shinty played on the sands at Sandend mostly at ‘Auld Eel'” (Bnff.9 c.1927).Mry., Bnff. 1825 Jam.2:
After the chow is struck off by one party, the aim of the other is to strike it back, that it may not reach the . . . goal on their side.
Bnff.6 1914:
Be sure an fess yer chow wi ye fin ye come back fae yer denner.

3. “A big lump or mass of something, turf, etc.; e.g. ‘a yarfa [peat] chow'” (Ork. 1929 Marw.). [tʃɔu (Marw.)]

4. “The roundish end of the carn tangle [q.v.]” (Mry.4 1932).

5. “A bullet-head” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff., Add. 219; Bnff. 1898 E.D.D.).

6. The game of golf (Abd. (Bch. coast) 1965).

[Ad. North. Fr. dial. cho(u)le, cholle, a ball or block of wood used in hockey or football.]

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"Chow n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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