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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GROATIE-BUCKIE, n.comb. Also grotti-bukki, grotty-buckie, gruttie bukie. A species of cowrie shell, Cypraea europaea (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1932 J. Saxby Trad. Lore 203, gruttie bukie; Cai. 1900 E.D.D., Ork. 1929 Marw.; Ork.1, Cai.9 (groatie-) 1955). Also simply groatie, grotty (Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 74; Sh., Ork., Cai., Abd. 1955). [I.Sc. ′grɔti-; Cai. ′grote-]Sh. 1950 New Shetlander No. 22. 39:
An ipun a saandy stripp we'd finn a sea-moose ower ti wrangle, A grotti-bukki meybe tü, ir suntin else new-fangle.
Abd. 1952 People's Journal (12 July):
“Kysies” are tiny, buff-coloured buckie shells . . . Farther along the coast, towards Fraserburgh, their name changes to “groaties.”
Cai. 1954 Scotsman (16 March) 6:
Small shells called cowries, or in the local dialect “groatie buckies,” are to be found along the white sand-strewn beach at John o' Groat's.
Sc. 1998 Sunday Mirror 2 Aug 32:
At the Castle of Mey she [Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother] loves walking on the beach and finding tiny coral-pink cowrie shells, known as groatie buckies.

[Orig. John o' Groats buckie (see John, n., 2.) from the place where they are found in abundance, later confused with Groats, from the resemblance of the shell to a large hulled grain. See also Buckie, n.1, 1.]

Groatie-buckie n. comb.

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"Groatie-buckie n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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