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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GRUSE, v., n. Also groose, grooze, gru(i)z(e), grewse, grouze; growse, growze. [Sc. gru:z; wm. and s.Sc. grʌuz]

I. v. To shiver, to shudder with fear, horror, cold, sickness, etc. (Lth. 1808 Jam., groose; Rxb. 1825 Id., 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk. 1892 Bwk. Naturalists' Club 164; Lth., Bwk., Slk. 1955). Gen. found as vbl.n. (Ayr. 1954, growsin; Rxb. 1954 Hawick News (18 June); e.Lth. 1955). Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1806 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) I. 339:
I declare this story [of a murder] makes me growze whenever I think of it.
Rxb. 1824 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1922) 36:
I'm beverin and growzin wi' terror and cauld, But I'm doubtish I soon will be hetter.
Sc. 1868 G. Webster Strathbrachan 502:
Preserve us, Dundauvie; ye gar a body growze.
Ayr. a.1878 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage (1892) 218:
Aft wi' thuds, hae gart me growse, Thou [night wind] hast shook me frae a drowse.
Sc. 1884–85 Royal Caled. Curling Club Ann. 334:
An auld man sat ayont the fire A' grewsin' wi' the cauld.
Lth. 1885 “J. Strathesk” Blinkbonny 92:
He . . . made a hasty retreat, felt sick, or “a' groosin',” as he called it.
Sc. 1897 “L. Keith” Bonnie Lady vi.:
A chill, a gruzin'; nothing more. It will pass.
Fif. 1904 Caled. Med. Jnl. V. 185:
Nor if she [a woman recovering from childbirth] take a “grewsin” must she touch her mammae, or a “beelin' briest” will be her sure reward.

II. n. A shiver, a fit of shivering, either from cold or horror (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Lth., Bwk., Rxb. 1955).Sc. 1825 Scott Letters (1894) II. 345:
25 Aug.: I own one felt a little gruse at a pass called Shanes Inn . . . where they cut an unfortunate Inspector of the Mail Coaches . . . to pieces with scythes.
Bnff. 1876 S. Smiles Naturalist i.:
He was hot and cold alternately. When he got up in the afternoon he was in a “gruize.”
Per. 1911 A.D. Stewart Heather and Peat ix.:
When I had gotten ower lookin' at the picter, I got an awfu' grooze, and my hair raise straucht up.

Hence groosie, adj., shivery (Fif. 1909 Colville 292; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., groosy, -zy, gruizy; m.Lth., Bwk., Slk. 1955; Edb. 1975 growzie).

[Deriv. of Grue, q.v., the -s prob. arising from the impers. constr. it grews me found in O.Sc.]

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"Gruse v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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