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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

ROWT, v., n. Also rowte, rout(e); root (Gregor), rut (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), 1914 Angus Gl.); nonce or erron. rowtin. [rʌut, I.Sc. rut]

I. v. 1. Of cattle: to low loudly, to bellow, to roar (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, 1808 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 145; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 262; Uls. 1953 Traynor; I. and n.Sc., Per., w.Lth., w. and sm.Sc. 1968). Deriv. rowter, a cow. Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 111:
Nuckle Kye stand rowting on the Loans.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) I. 158:
Frae falds nae mair the owsen rout.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Ordination vi.:
Nae mair thou'lt rowte out-owre the dale, Because thy pasture's scanty.
Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery iii.:
Turning their necks to the byre, and routing.
Edb. 1821 D. Haggart Life 52:
He brought us two routers putters. . . . The hair was scarcely off it, and it was quite raw.
Lnk. 1838 A. Rodger Poems (1897) 148:
Weel stockit wi' routers and grunters, A stackyard, a barn, an' a byre.
Abd. 1875 G. MacDonald Malcolm II. xix.:
At the drawbrig they blew a horn 'at rowtit like a' the bulls o' Bashan.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 6:
De coo set ap sic a rootin as meed the men luck i' the byre.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Stickit Minister 229:
After him thundered the bull, routing in blood-curdling wrath.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (14 Aug.):
I hear dee Rigga; root agen grey Flecka.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 1:
The road was thrang wui droves o nowt rowtin an mehhin an blehhin.

Phr. to rowt in somebody's tether, to be employed by someone, to be bound to someone.Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 99:
Ye'll ne'er rowte in my tether.
wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 16:
Quo' I to mysel', bin me as ye like, I'll no rowt lang in your tether.

2. Of other animals: to roar, to cry (Ags., Per., Ayr. 1968).Sc. 1778 Gentleman's Mag. XLVIII. 408:
In Rutting time, bucks keep a continual routing, or bellowing.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse Sayin's xx. 2:
The rampagin o' a king is like the rowtin o' a lion.
s.Sc. 1926 H. M'Diarmid Penny Wheep 66:
Life bears beasts rowtin' that it deemed extinct.

3. Transf., of persons: to shout, bawl, make a great noise (Ags., Kcb. 1968), to sing loudly and unmusically, also in freq. form rowter, id., to revel, roister; tr. to call out, announce loudly. Deriv. router, a noisy orator, a tub-thumper. Ppl.adj. routing, noisy, blustering, loud-mouthed.Ayr. 1787 Burns The Calf v.:
To hear you roar and rowte, Few men o' sense will doubt your claims To rank amang the nowte.
Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 155:
Think ye I'd rowt a name I like In ilka hempy's hearin'?
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xiv.:
He routed like a cow in a fremd loaning.
Sc. 1825 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 128:
A Whig routin at a public meetin.
Bnff. 1827 Aberdeen Star (20 July) 314:
They will tack better tent fou they rout an' tout, skirl an 'squeek, the neist time.
Sc. 1851 G. Outram Lyrics (1874) 106:
I'll rout wi' right gude will, about the joys I feel.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped xxix.:
I have no manner of inclination to rowt out my name to the countryside.
Abd. 1898 J. M. Cobban Angel of Covenant ii.:
What a raw, routing creature is the lad of the North at that age!
Peb. 1899 J. Grosart Chronicles 70:
Peebles was then divided from the ordinary churchgoers by what was termed Ranters or Routers, whose counterpart may be seen to-day in the Salvation Army, the Brethren, &c.
Ork. 1904 Dennison Sketches 15:
First, he rooted an' sweur — Mighty! sican feedies he fetched!
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot At Hame 54:
And we roystered and we sang, And we rowtered on an daffed whaever cam'.
Lnk. 1927 G. Rae Where Falcons Fly vii.:
What's a' this tae dae aboot auld Peter's routin' in the kirk on the brae?

4. To play on a horn, to toot; of a horn: to sound loudly; transf. to break wind (Cld. 1880 Jam.; Fif., w.Lth. 1968).Lth. 1801 J. Thomson Poems 7:
He left to them a routin' horn.
Sc. 1824 Cornhill Mag. (Sept. 1932) 277:
We rowted on't, and wrought on wi't “and hotched and blew wi' might and main”.
Edb. a.1850 J. Smith Hum. Sc. Stories 67:
A chield that was rowtin' awa on a lang worly-squorly concern like a brass pump.
m.Lth. 1878 R. Cuddie Corstorphine Lyrics 12:
The routing and the screeching of his lang trombone.

5. Fig. of wind, water, etc.: to roar loudly. Hence rowtin(g), vbl.n., ppl.adj. Cf. Rout, v.1Sc. c.1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 158:
For rowtining [sic] Clyd and fleechyng Tweed.
Slk. 1804 Hogg Poems (1874) 64:
The linn it was rowting adown frae the height.
Kcb. 1867 Carlyle E. Irving 303:
Especially one [bridge] called ‘rowting', i.e. bellowing or roaring ‘Brig', spanning a grand loud cataract.
Bnff. 1823 G. Greig Folk-Song (1914) viii.:
The rowtin' o'that dark water.

6. Of a bell: to toll, to make a loud din. Deriv. router, a nickname for a bellringer.wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 193:
Connected with the Church of Scotland, was an important personage who kept order in the house — Robin Tug-the-Tow, alias Rab-the-Router. . . . The manner of tugging, rather than a steady swinging pull of the bell rope, and the ringing or “routing” of the said piece of metal, in summoning to the services of the church.

II. n. 1. The lowing or bellowing of cattle, the act of bellowing (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh., Bnff., ‡Ags., Per., w.Lth., Gall. 1968), sometimes extended to other animals. Also in Eng. dial.Bnff. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 106:
That he mote lear their artfu' rowt.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 52:
Ilk rowt the twa [cattle] gave thwart the burn.
Peb. 1817 R. Brown Lintoun Green 49:
A crummie's rowt! The english call a low!
Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel iii.:
He is ane o' our ain Norland stots, I ken by the rowt of him.
m.Lth. 1866 J. Smith Merry Bridal 17:
The Bull rins wild amang the nowte, An' funkin daft wi' merry rout.
Ags. 1880 J. E. Watt Poet. Sk. 64:
Her voice it resembles the rowte o' a coo.
Ork. 1884 R. M. Fergusson Rambles 245:
A lood soond like the root o' a deean' coo.

2. A shout, outcry, uproar, clamour, to-do. Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1715 J. Maidment Pasquils 400:
Then a cursed old Peer and a Bishop I hear, About going to hell made a rout.
Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 35:
The man that clips the sow, He makes a hantle rout an' din.
Sc. 1822 Scott Pirate xiv.:
Burning, blighting, falcon eyes, which we poets are apt to make a rout about.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 76:
He frae his windock keekit out To ken the reason o' the rout.
ne.Sc. 1836 J. Grant Tales 63:
He heard the rout o' the kelpie's weel kent lauch.
Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 243:
He raised a big rowt, “Kimmers, come out”.

3. A loud crashing noise, a peal, a report (Sc. 1808 Jam.).Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 38:
There cam' sic a root o' thunder.
Clc. 1882 J. Walker Poems 170:
The limmer's [= cannon's] rout wad ding them maistly deaf.

[O.Sc. rowt, to roar, bellow, c.1425, a bellow, trumpeting, 1438, Mid.Eng. rowt(e), O.N. rauta, to bellow.]

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"Rowt v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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