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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

COWSHIN, COWTION, COOSHIN, COUSHON, v., tr. and intr. Sc. forms of Eng. caution, used as in St.Eng. In the sense of “to pacify, to quieten,” illustrated below, it is peculiar to Sc. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.17 1940 in form cowshin. Ags.9 (1926) gives the form cooshin for Montrose. Also used with doon. [′kʌuʃɪn Sc., but s.Sc. + ɑu (see Watson Rxb. W.-B., Intro. §§ 59, 62 (J)), and Ags. + ′kuʃɪn]Abd. 1881 W. Paul Past and Present 127:
When I was at the back door o' the caert cowtionin' the hen with the beastie's rein in my han, the craetur' gied a tit.
Ags. 1892 Brechin Advertiser (26 April) 3/6:
Sae it fell upon a day the neebors heard the rowe an' gaed in to coushon the man.
Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) vi.:
Syne he cowshined doon a bittie.

[The orig. Lat. diphthong au in this and other words was probably used in the schools and in the pulpit and found its way into dial. alongside of caition, etc. (see Caution). The form cooshin is irregular.]

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"Cowshin v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Apr 2024 <>



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