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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCREE, n.1 Also erron. scrae. The mass of loose stones which accumulates at the foot of rocky hillslopes, under crags, etc., from the action of weathering, detritus. Gen.Sc. and in n.Eng. dial. [skri:]Sc. 1813 Scott Bridal of Triermain iii. viii.:
Shingle and Scrae, and Fell and Force.
Sc. 1891 Buckley and Harvie-Brown Fauna Ork. 37:
Fissures, down which quantities of stones and rocks are brought by the winter rains, forming large “screes” or slopes of loose stones.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 15:
But ilka scree he sclam upon He saw anither farrer on.
Sc. 1951 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 469:
From then on to the cairn, it was hard, but not too difficult scrambling up slopes of scree.
Sc. 1982 Dave Gingell in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 21:
This is not the way to die -
a broken body on the scree
Hebr. 1988 Sorley Maclean in Joy Hendry Chapman 52 46:
The sides and thighs of the Cuillin
stripped naked for the giant wrestling
with no flesh on them but the scree
thrown headlong in cairns
from hip and knees
down to the depth of the gloomy abysses.
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 49:
Wi standard heist abuin the scree,
yon conventicle ashore,
sae clear confirmed oor creed, when we
gaed back ti Eilean Mor.

[A back-formation from screes < *screethes, pl., from O.N. skriða, a landslide, skríða, to slide.]

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"Scree n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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