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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

POSE, v.1, n.1 Also poze, pos (Jak.); poss-; poose (Watson). Sc. forms and usages:

I. v. 1. To place (an object) in a specified position, to deposit something, freq. with the object of concealment. Obs. in Eng. in 15th c.; hence, by extension, to hide, cache (Abd., Ags. 1966); with by, up, etc., to hoard (money), save up, lay by (Inv., ne.Sc. Ags. 1966). Also in form posie, id. (Sc. 1880 Jam.).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 132:
The aul' bodie hiz a houd o' siller poset up, an's eye posin' up mair.
Inv. 1948 Football Times (11 Sept.):
Boys and girls used to “pose up” for jaunts.
Ags. 1961 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 175:
“There's tuppence on the bottle!” “Ach, pose it and get it on the wey back”.
Dundee 2000 Courier 11 Apr :
A reader writes, "An elderly Dundee lady told me she had 'posed' something the other day, meaning she had hidden it. I have often heard this expression in Dundee but I don't know if it is used in other places as well. Curiously, my Scots dictionary gives its meaning as 'to hoard', which is a slightly different thing."
Edb. 2005:
Ah'll need tae pose the bairn's birthday present.

2. In phr. poose me that, said by a child when laying first claim to some desirable object (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Cf. Chap, v., 1.

II. n. 1. That which has been deposited or laid down, a heap, pile, collection of objects, a quantity of some substance, occas. also used of a group of persons. Freq. in dim. or deriv. forms posie, -y, posel(ie), pozel(ie), possile (Ags. 1887 A. Willock Rosetty Ends x.; ne.Sc. (posie), Ags. 1966).Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxiii.:
Naebody had found out that pose o' carcages.
Ags. 1833 J. Sands Poems 41:
Firm, ay, and steady at his post, He rack'd ta posils.
Abd. 1873 J. Ogg Willie Waly 56:
See yon children; red an' rosy . . . Noo assembled in a posy.
Lth. 1883 M. Oliphant Ladies Lindores viii:
A happy woman, a good man and a bonnie posie of bairns.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 65:
Doon the lum cam' a pozel o' bricks an' shute.
Ags. 1946 D. Twitter Tales 5:
Poselies o' sand wir puiten doon here an' there.
Ags. 1956 Forfar Dispatch (28 June):
The signal for veesitors here is for me tae open a box and spread athing oot in posels, preparatory tae puitin things neatly awa.

2. Specif., a collection of money or valuables hidden away for safe keeping, a secret store, a hoard, cache (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh., Abd., Ags. 1966), hoarded money, savings (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), pos). Dim. form posie, -y, id. (Ayr. 1880 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., po(o)sie, 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc., obsol. Comb. pose-box, a money-bank.Sc. 1702 Atholl MSS. (10 Sept.):
I have sent you my pose . . that you may cause give what you think fitt out of it, I think twinty lib. Scotts or thirty at most will be anofe.
Abd. 1755 Caled. Mercury (16 Aug.):
The Father of the Proprietor of the Ground, an old Man, who for many Years had been ill of the Gout, on hearing of a Pose (a Cant-word for hoarded Money) ran to the Soldiers as nimble as a Hare seized the Treasure, and made off to his own House.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 213:
By you when spulzied o' her charming pose, She tholes in turn the taunt o' cauldrife joes.
Ags. 1799 Dundee Mag. (April):
Old women and children kept their pozes in their kist neuks and pirly pigs.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xxiv.:
Misticot's pose had muckle yellow gowd in't.
Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of Lairds xxxix.:
Jenny Clatterpans, that has had a lang snug time o't, and has a pose in her kist-nook.
Rxb. 1933 A. Hall Sc. Borderer (1874) 14:
He kept his poose in a hole he had formed in the rigging of his master's barn.
Slk. 1835 Hogg Tales (1874) 711:
I hae keepit a pose o' my ain in case o' accidents.
Fif. 1864 St. Andrews Gazette (19 March):
She had a good pose of half-crowns and pickles of tea laid up from the benevolence of her visitors.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 8:
Afore he geed awa his auld mither gae him a stockin i his hand wi her pose i hid.
Slg. 1900 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 2) II. 64:
A shepherd on Ben Lomond side, finding a copper coin, searched and found a pose of 56 copper pennies of an Irish coinage of George III.
Edb. 1904 E. B. Simpson R. L. Stevenson 200:
“Posies” . . . holes dug in the grass and cunningly covered over with turf, so that it needed a trained eye to discover the site of the pit. In these posies . . . were put “peeries”, marbles, or our favourite tin soldiers. The owners rose betimes to see if their hidden treasure was still secure.
ne.Sc. 1930 Bothy Songs (Ord) 39:
Claes are a mochy posie.
Inv. 1948 Football Times (11 Sept.):
The modern drop-box for household savings by the very young was known as a “pose-box.”
Sh. 1961 New Shetlander No. 58. 15:
Gyittin on, haein nae waant a pose, towt Tammie wi a gaaf.

[O.Sc. pose, a private hoard, 1549.]

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"Pose v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <>



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