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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HARE, n. Also hair.

1. Sc. combs. and phrs.: (1) hare's foot, (a) in phrs. nae to be the rael hare's fit, to be untrustworthy, of bad character (Bnff.2 1934), to get the hare's foot to lick, to receive a very small portion. Cf. similar use of parson's nose in Eng.; (b) a bell pull made from or in imitation of a hare's foot; (2) hare('s) lug, an angling fly, the body of which is dubbed with fur from the hare's ear. Gen.Sc.; (3) hare's waukenin, a rude awakening.(1) (a) Sc. 1818 in Lockhart Scott xl.:
This poor clergyman [got] nothing whatever, or, as you say, the hare's foot to lick.
(b) Arg. 1912 N. Munro Ayrsh. Idylls 86–7:
Without a word for us at first he clapped down on a chair, syne pulled the hares-foot, summonsing Macaskill, and demanded ale.
(2) Sc. 1837 T. T. Stoddart Reminisc. 26:
Put on this red professor for a trail-fly, and a hare-lug bobber.
Gsw. 1878 W. Penman Echoes 53:
Yon braw hare's lug I tied yestreen, Should kill a trout or twa.
Ags. 1879 J. Guthrie Poems 51:
There's guid reid haickle, and hare lug, Wi' drake or woodcock wing.
Abd. 1922 G. P. Dunbar Doric 16:
He tried “mairch broons” an' “hare lugs” an' twined an' birred his reel.
(3) Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS.:
I can tell ye I got a hare's waukenin' in the mornin.

2. The last sheaf or handful of grain cut in the harvest-field (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; †Ayr.4 1928; n.Tyr., n.Derry 1930 per Uls.3); found gen. in phr. to cut the hare (s.Ayr. 1889 Folk-Lore Jnl. VII. 47). Also in Der. dial.Wgt. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 356:
The Hair is the last pickle corn that is cut on the farm, and it is plaited up where it grows, and the harvesters stand up at a distance, and throw their heuks at it, and the one that manages to cut it gets the [Kirn] Doll to carry to the farm-house and gets a dram. The Hair is put up above the kitchen door, and then the name of the first man that enters, is the name of the future husband of the woman that cut the Hair; or, if a man cut it, the name of the first woman is that of his future wife.
Gall. 1897 66th Report Brit. Ass. 486:
“The Hare” was often kept over the “door-head” till the following harvest.
Sc. 1912 J. G. Frazer Golden Bough VII. 279:
In Galloway the reaping of the last standing corn is called “cutting the Hare.” . . . When the rest of the corn has been reaped, a handful is left standing to form the Hare. It is divided into three parts and plaited, and the ears are tied in a knot. The reapers then retire a few yards and each throws his or her sickle in turn at the Hare to cut it down. It must be cut below the knot, and the reapers continue to throw their sickles at it, one after the other, until one ofthem succeeds in severing the stalks below the knot. . . . In the parish of Minnigaff, when the Hare was cut, the unmarried reapers ran home with all speed, and the one who arrived first was the first to be married.

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"Hare n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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