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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CUSHAT, Cushet, Cusha, n. Also reduced forms cushie, cooshie, cushey. Also used attrib. [′kʌʃə(t), ′kʌʃi, ′kuʃi]

1. The ring-dove or wood-pigeon, Columba palumbus (Mry. 1844 G. Gordon Fauna of Mry. in Zoologist (Feb.), cushat; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., cusha, cushie). Known to Bnff.2 and Abd.9 (cushie), Ags.2 1941; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 241; Fif.10 (cushie), Slg.3 (cushie, cushet), Edb.1, Arg.1, Kcb.9 1941.Sc. 1810 Scott L. of the Lake (1821) iii. ii.:
In answer coo'd the cushat dove Her notes of peace, and rest, and love.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 48:
Wirkers war like cushies in the park, fechtin fur ony crumb that fell frae the pooches o the rich.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 15:
An syne aroon ma feet there lowped
A cripple-fittit cooshie,
... An, close ahin, a cock paid coort
Breist feathers grey and purpled.
Ags. 1820 A. Balfour Poems 324:
The cushat nae langer is heard to complain.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 7:
An happit fast wi ye, as weel, yer lug's first sang,
The plash o' Esk an Ewes - saft watry tongues tae lip
The crannies o yer mind, baain lambs in bairnie-clouts
Trummlin at their ain bleat or a cushat's cry.
Edb. 1864 A. Logan Auld Reekie Musings 80:
The cushet loves the woody dell.
wm.Sc. 1988 Scotsman 3 Sep 4:
He, too, took his whack of cushies and the occasional pheasant, but would not bring himself to shoot more than a brace of partridges.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Elegy on Capt. Matthew Henderson (Cent. ed.) iv.:
Mourn, ilka grove the cushat kens!

2. Comb.: cushie-doo (dou, dow, dove), cooshie-, cushey-, cusha-, (1) = 1. above; also used attrib. Gen. (exc. I.) Sc.; (2) used as a term of affection (Bnff.2 1941).(1) Abd. 1932 D. Campbell Bamboozled 71:
Sids doon thrippence, an' yersel' cooin' like a cooshie-doo; it blecks a'.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 15:
Fin the icin's aff the cake, laid by wi ither tooteroos,
The waddin that will langest laist may be the cooshie doo's!
Bwk. c.1887 R. M. Calder in Minstrelsy of the Merse (ed. Crockett 1893) 259:
. . . the young cusha doo that had ventured Oot the nest afore it could flee.
wm.Sc. 1835–37 Laird of Logan II. 132:
Up the stair we scrambled like twa cats after a cushey-dou or a mealy mouse.
Kcb. 1895 S. R. Crockett Men of the Moss-Hags iii.:
A voice that was as soft as that of a cushie dove.
w.Dmf. 1917 J. L. Waugh Cute McCheyne 126:
I wad judge she's past the cooin', cushie-doo stage, an' will sensibly consider this chance o' a guid doon-settin'.
(2) Lnk. 1881 A. Wardrop J. Mathison's Courtship, etc. 12:
O' Kirsty, jist say that you'll be mine, my bonnie hen, my darlin' lamb, my ain wee cushie doo!

[O.Sc. has cuschet(t), cowschot, cushat, etc., id., from c.1450 (D.O.S.T.); O.E. cūscote; Mid.Eng. cou-schote, -scot. Of obscure origin; prob. imit. of the bird's call. The placename Couschotelaw (Cushat Law, Nhb.) occurs c.1200 (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Cushat n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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