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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MASK, n.2, v.2 Also mash (see note). [mɑsk, mɑʃ]

I. n. A mesh, of a fishing net, net-bag, etc. (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 142; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 112; Kcb. 1911; Crm. 1919 T.S.D.C., mash; I. and n.Sc., Ags. (mask, mash), Ayr. (mash) 1962. Phr. nae tae get a mask, to be prevented by weather from hauling one's nets (Sh. 1962).Bwk. 1881 P.S.A.S. XV. 150:
These ozzels are first fixed, generally by the women to the nets every five “masks” or meshes.
Sh. 1899 Shetland News (8 Sept.):
Dey can geng aff an' get der nets whin we widna get a mask.
Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (27 Jöne):
Ye canna sye mylk trouw da masks o a pokk.
Mry.4 1933:
The manipulation of the meshes [of trawl nets], (very much the same as a woman “taking in” the leg of her stocking in process of knitting) putting 2 into 1, is called “Beetin”, and the mesh so used is termed the “Beetin mask or masks”.
Abd. 1951 Buchan Observer (11 Dec.):
Aye stooin' an' shooin' at three-leggit masks.

II. v. 1. To catch in a net, to enmesh; of fish: to swim into a net, to trap themselves (Ayr. 1808 Jam.; Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 142; I.Sc., Cai., Ayr. 1962). Vbl.n. mashin, the catching or netting of fish; a catch of herring (Ayr. 1962).Sc. 1840 Chambers's Jnl. (23 May) 140:
The men endeavour to induce the seals that may be in the cave to venture out . . . When fairly enveloped in the net, or masked, as it is called, the capture is considered secure.
Mry. 1894 J. Slater Seaside Idylls (1898) 45:
It mak's the net like a bag in the watter, An the herrin mask better.
Arg. 1953 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 151:
There was fine mashing, ay, they were into the herring right enough!

2. To make or repair the meshes in a net.wm.Sc.1 1915:
“Can ye mash?”, i.e. can you make the netting-stitch?

[O.Sc. mask, a mesh, c.1575. The form may be direct from O.N. mǫskve, a mesh, or from O.E. max, *masc, with Scand. influence.]

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"Mask n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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