Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
About this entry:
First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
MOU, n., v. Also moue; moo; mow(e). [Sc. mu:, s.Sc. mʌu]
I. n. 1. A large pile or heap of grain, hay, straw or similar dry materials, esp. a pile of unthreshed grain stored in a barn (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 115; Uls. 1929). Gen. (exc. I.)Sc. Also in Eng. dial. Freq. in combs. barley-, corn-, hay-mow; mow-burn, v., of unthreshed grain; to generate heat through being stored in a damp condition, vbl.n. mow-burning; n., the heat so generated (Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) M. 69).Sc. 1718 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 81:
But Laurie he took out his Nap Upon a Mow of Pease.Abd. 1768 Aberdeen Jnl. (10 Oct.):
Gaitskell made his escape, and got upon a hay mow in the neighbourhood.Ayr. 1788 Burns Ploughman iv.:
Commend me to the barn-yard, And the corn-mou, man.m.Lth. 1793 G. Robertson Agric. m.Lth. 63:
In building the stacks, some draw a large bag, stuffed with straw, up the centre, which leaves a kind of funnel for the vapour to escape, and thus prevents heating, or mow-burning.Sc. 1809 Farmer's Mag. (Aug.) 287:
This grain [barley] is more difficult to manage than either wheat or oats, being softer in the straw, easier mou burnt, and altogether unfit for stacking, unless in a very dry state.Slk. 1810 Hogg Forest Minstrel (1874) 276:
An' blyther been wi' bonnie Bess Ayont the mow amang the hay.Knr. 1813 J. Bruce The Farmer 5:
Up wi' the dawn I've held the pleugh, Or sawn the field, or thrash'd the mow.Slg. 1847–9 Trans. Highl. Soc. 220:
The small farmer, in particular, generally throws the straw into large mows, or heaps, on low damp floors, where it becomes musty.Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard Bearer xxxix.:
From the haymow in the barn, where he had been making a pretence of work.
2. The recess or division in a barn where unthreshed grain is heaped (Per. 1963). Also barn-moo, id. Also in Eng. dial.Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 91:
They were engaged in carrying his corn from the stack in the barn-yard to the mow in the barn.Sc. 1912 Scotsman (19 Jan.):
The recess in the barn — the barn moo-where the sheaves of the grain stacks, transferred from the stackyard, are built up preparatory to being thrashed with the flail.
3. A large vertical section of a hay or corn stack of the house-shaped type (Bnff., Ags., Kcb. 1963); a Gang or layer of sheaves (Per. 1963).
4. A pile or stack of peats, esp. under cover (Dmf. 1825 Jam.); the site of a peat-stack (w.Sc. 1880 Jam.). Also in comb. peat-mow (Id.).Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 15:
Down came the bed with a great mou of peats.Dmf. 1781 Dmf. Weekly Jnl. (9 Jan.):
The Magistrates and Council prohibit and discharge all persons . . . from keeping mows of peats, or other kind of firing, near any fire place.s.Sc. 1857 Wilson's Tales of the Borders X. 67:
Wham ye kissed sae snug last nicht ayont the peat-mou.
II. v. To pile up unthreshed grain or hay in a barn.Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ancient Sc. Ballads 148:
And ye maun moue it in yon mouse-hole.Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 65:
Its no weel mow'd! Its no weel mow'd! — Then its ne'er be mow'd by me again.s.Sc. 1950 W. M. Petrie Folk Tales 17:
By the word “mowed” the people of that district meant the way the sheaves were built up in the barn.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Mou n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/mou>