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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

COWSY, COWSIE, COUSIE, n. “A selfacting incline” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 21, cousie; Fif. 1913 Session Cases 85), “on which one or more full descending hutches pull up a corresponding number of empties” (Edb.6 1943, cowsie). Often used attrib., esp. cousie-wheel, “the drum or pulley on a self-acting incline” (Ib.). [′kʌuzi, ′kʌusi]Lnk. 1893 T. Stewart Miners 77:
An' sune oor hero wore a croon, A dizen doozis bleesin' roun' His leather cap, an' birlin' doon The cowsy brae we trot him.
Ib. iv.:
We . . . took out whatever quantity of coals we dug in half-ton waggons, called hutches or “whirlies,” to the cowsy wheel, which ran them the rest of the way to the bottom.

[Origin obscure. The form suggests a local extended usage of Causey.]

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"Cowsy n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 May 2024 <>



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