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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.

DIRTEN ALLEN, -A(L)LAN, DIRTY-, -AULIN, n. comb. The skua, Stercorarius crepidatus (Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour 201, dirten-allan; Cai.7 1940, dirty allan; Mry. 1844 G. Gordon Fauna of Mry. in Zoologist (Feb.), -allen; Bnff.9 c.1927, -allan; Abd. 1881 W. Paul Past and Present (2nd ed.) 124, dirten-alan; Ags. 1784 T.C. in Gentleman's Mag. ii. 505, dirty aulin). Cf. dirt-bird s.v. Dirt, n., 4.Lth. 1771 T. Pennant Tour 1769 62:
The species . . . persecutes and pursues the lesser kinds, till they mute through fear, when it catches up their excrements e'er [sic] they reach the water: the boatmen, on that account, styled it the dirty Aulin.

[Dirten, dirty, + Alan.]

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"Dirten Allen n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/dirten_allen>

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